The Line of Polity (Ian Cormac) Paperback – Unabridged, 19 Mar 2004
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A complex, multilayered story of rebels in a slave world trying to qualify for humanitarian aid. (Guardian)
Asher’s latest rip-roaring space epic makes his previous ventures look like relaxing trips to the local zoo. (SFX)
Fast paced, intriguing, and brutal. (Starburst) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Full-scale action SF by one of Britain's most popular new writers.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Some of the depictions of the antagonist's atrocities are hair-raising.
Cons: It's clearly part of a multi-volume series, unfortunately, it seems to makes it long and tedious, and I've had just about enough descriptions of military fighting in marshlands covered in thick grass to last me a lifetime. Some of Asher's other works are quite better.
In The Line of Polity Asher builds a mixture of a futuristic spy thriller with an awesome imagination and charecterisation.
Ian Cormac, Earth Central Security is in pursuit of his old foe Dragon a confusing malicious intergalactic being. However as ever Cormac picks up a series of enemies who in typical elite spy style are almost beneath his notice. With the witty Gant and a team of powerful individuals the action is non stop.
But wait, theres a story here as well, a story that is very well told. The story of a rebellion against a Theocracy, a tale of a young girl seeking freedom from her environment and a young man coming to terms with a completely new world.
Sound a bit musshy for yah? Don't worry theres still plenty of gun fights, shuruken based decapitations and raging scifi to keep the biggest scifi nut happy.
Damn fine show!
The planet of Masada is where a good chunk of the book takes place, a place "you cannot draw a breath... even if its horrifying wildlife would let you." That's from the back cover of the novel... that's it, meaning not much info to go by before you buy the novel in the bookstore. A better, in book, quote about Masada is a place where "choices are limited to two - fight or die - and they are not mutually exclusive."
One more downside of the book is the villain Skellor. His name reminds me of Skeletor from the fames of He-man, Master of the Universe. Therefore, the name Skellor feels cheesy, as if it was ripped off from He-man. His presence in the novel is straight from the get-go and makes appearances all the way until the end, but what's seriously lacking is Skellor's motivation for being the villain rather than being part of the Polity.
The Polity doesn't play as big of a role in Line of Polity as it did in Gridlinked. There isn't a focus on augmentations or runcibles as it typically found in Polity society. The entire novel takes place on two distant planets and outer space. It lends little the structure of the Polity society but makes up for it by adding to the mystery surrounding the Dragon, which ended in Gridlinked. An apt foreshadowing quote would be, "That was Dragon. And my guess is that things are just about to start getting very complicated - and very deadly."
I'm interested to see how Asher will progress with the Cormac series, whether in the direction of wit and gore, a focus on Polity society or a concentration on the Dragon. The third novel in the series should answer this question- Brass Man.
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