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The Line War (Agent Cormac) Paperback – 2 Sep 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Reprints edition (2 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330528459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330528450
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Asher is brilliant at conveying the vastness of space, the strangeness of alien life and the sweep of planetary horizons.' -- SFX Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

High-octane action in outer space - the fifth novel in his popular agent Cormac series

High-octane action in outer space -- the fifth novel in his increasingly popular Agent Cormac series

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Top Customer Reviews

By Ed.F VINE VOICE on 14 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love space opera and this series, the Agent Cormac novels, has delivered in spades. Line war is billed as it's conclusion, my thoughts on that later, and contains the usual rip roaring multi threaded action we have come to expect as Cormac uncovers a very nasty conspiracy which takes him from fighting on the frontiers to the very heart of the Polity.

On the way we have gigantic space weapons, vast battle sequences, mahyem on a planetary scale, conversations with the makers of ancient booby traps and many other gripping sequences.

A great end to the series, neatly typing up nearly all the threads laid out during the previous four books but I can't see Neal Asher leaving a character as good as Cormac on the shelf for long, I wager he'll be back elsewhere in the polity metaverse, even if just as a Deus ex machina plot device.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ties together the sprawling Cormac series quite nicely - thank goodness! Another reviewer pointed out the overuse of the word "grimace" which every character seems to do all the time. Once you've spotted that, the word "grimace" becomes almost a bizarre meme.

It's a better story than the other three books after Gridlinked and has some thought provoking ideas about AI and so on. If only this Polity stuff were better written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First up, Asher is just about my favourite current author, right up there along with Reynolds. When I first started reading science fiction ages ago it was Banks and Asher has kind of taken his place for me.

I gave this 5 stars as I think it's worth that in its own right but also as the (supposedly) last in a great series that has given me a lot of enjoyment.

You do really need to read the preceding Agent Cormac novels first otherwise I don't think it would make much sense. If you have read the first four you shouldn't be disappointed - I certainly wasn't.

One of the things I like about the series is that the scale is vast - both in space and time. For example, we have mega-space battles and are told of the rise and fall of inter-stellar civilisations. However, we also get right down and close-up with the characters in their own personal fights and skirmishes.

Asher brings in some familiar characters from previous novels including everyone's favourite giant brass golem, a certain draconic enigma and one of personal faves, the AI from a massive spaceship (if that counts as a character).

We follow various characters from their own personal perspectives but everything is neatly brought together. Previously unexplained matters or unanswered questions are developed and addressed, e.g. in relation to the origins of Jain tech and regarding Cormac himself.

I thought that it was well-paced throughout and built to a nice extended crescendo on lots of levels with plenty of intrigue and plot twists along the way. I really liked the ending which I think did justice to an immensely enjoyable series.

The dialogue is sharp as always and much of the humour and the best lines, as before, comes from idiosyncratic war drones with real attitude and also a "ghost" who spars with a demented AI.

A really great read and I'm just sorry that I've finished it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a bit amazed that it took me so many Neal Asher books to realise that he isn't very good. I read The Skinner first, and then Gridlinked. Both were excellent, but each series gradually went downhill. By the time you get to this fifth Cormac book, its pretty tired.

Two things that grate on me (in addition to the variable quality of the writing):

Asher is (verging on) a right wing crank who just cannot resist making political points in his writing. Now that wouldn't bother me so much if he hadn't ripped off someone who does the same, but from the left - Iain Banks. Asher's polity owes so much to the Culture - its like he has blatantly copied so many of Banks' ideas, and reversed his philosophy as a big middle finger at him. As far as I know, Asher has never acknowledged his debt. The fact he can cite any other authors as inspiration, and never mention Banks, is patently ridiculous.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Neal Asher continues the Agent Cormac series with this, The Line War. I have read many science fiction series and a great deal of them become a little more stale with each episode. Not so with Agent Cormac. They get better. Neal Asher writes with breathtaking scope. His characters feel real and are filled with the imperfections that the 'real' always have. Whilst sometimes highly technically descriptive, Asher switches prose just as the brain begins to hurt as if, like Earth Central, he has fully predicted his reader! I was a massive fan of the late, great Iain M Banks and his magnificent Culture series and have been found wanting since his sad passing. Neal Asher has come to the rescue, breathing life and just the perfect blend of suspense, technology and sarcasm into his own cleverly crafted, and most believable, universe. If you are/were a fan of Banks, you're going to love The Agent Cormac series! Well done Neal Asher.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are reading a review for this book, chances are you're a Neal Asher fan already. This is the 5th and supposedly final installment of the Ian Cormac series, so no persuasion to read it is needed. If not yet a fan, then a description of his writing for me is akin to a magic eye picture, in that his books are always interesting to start but not always very clear what they're all about. Then, suddenly concepts and stories, the brain did not think previously comprehensible, are thrust in to view. This is true of Line War but when it all becomes clear this book just slightly lacks that oomph factor of the other books. It pains me to give only 3 stars to an author of stratospheric dimensions, but, despite being a good page turner, for me Asher has not added anything extra to what has gone before. The Cormac books are all a bit bleaker and less humourous than the others, but even knowing this I did not root for the characters quite as much as I wanted. Gimme Sniper the War Drone over Knobbler any day. Brass Man was the zenith of the series in my opinion. For the uninitiated, read The Skinner and Voyage of the Sable Keech. They're the best sci-fi books I've ever read.
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