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Shadow of the Scorpion (Novel of the Polity) Hardcover – Unabridged, 3 Apr 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (3 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230738591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230738591
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Massively good fun... A top-quality adventure story.'
-- Deathray

Book Description

Another stunning space drama featuring agent Cormac and the horrific legacy of the Prador Wars --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Shadow of the Scorpion is another stand alone novel from Night Shade Books (the first was Prador Moon), this time focusing on the early years of Ian Cormac, the ECS agent we all know from the Gridlinked sequence. Neal has taken a character that has gone through many experiences and gone back to the beginning, to see what made IanCormac what he is. The story is told against the backdrop of the end of the Prador war, still ongoing while he was a child and the aftermath to deal with during his ECS training.

Cormac and his two squad mates are stationed on Hagren, a planet near the Graveyard of wrecked worlds from the Prador war. With a Prador dreadnought crashed on the surface they are given the job of routine sentry duty, a task that is considered both mundane and routine. That is until theseparatists try to sneak in and steal a deadly CTD, a bomb with devastating power. With surviving Prador aboard the dreadnought and the separatist threat, Cormac soon finds himself in a dangerous situation and an investigation into the separatist activities, one that leads him to discover just what he's capable of.

During this narrative we are given flashbacks to Cormac's youth, the unusual appearance of a scorpion shaped war drone and the experiences his family go through. Why this drone turns up is a question thatCormac asks himself, and will reveal a secret that has been hidden for years.

I will make no apology about being a huge fan of Neal's work, I love the way he can create believable and hugely enjoyable worlds and his story telling skills are second to none. When I found out that this book was to focus onCormac's earlier life, and that it was to be published by Night Shade Books, I got pretty excited.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a polity-addict, i jumped on this one with anticipated pleasure. With a somewhat classic construction, featuring alternating periods of Agent Cormac youth, Asher brings us some of the milestones that founded his polity central character's background.
As usual with Asher, it's a page-turner that is quickly read, which is why i granted it 4 instead of 5 stars. The two tweened plots (cormac around 10 and cormac in his late teens making his first progress to agent-status) keep going faster and faster, with chapters getting shorter and shorter, reaching at the end a climax that is somewhat disappointing. As a final addition, we learn about Cormac's famous tenkian artifact in a 2 page hurried morsel, that probably could have been the subject of another novel.
Fast read, and i fear fast forgotten. But it stays that Asher's a master, so the read is compulsive, and the polity background is as pleasurable as in the other books.
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By Ed.F VINE VOICE on 21 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I've said elsewhere, I really enjoy Ashers work, and this second shorter work set in the earlier polity does not disapoint. Focusing on the eventful and traumatic early life of Ian Cormac, this is a story of vengance, growth, acceptance and a form of redemption, or at least a form of closure. This is a pacey narrative, with threads focusing on Cormac as a child and his first assignments with ECS. The narrative allows more insights into Asher's unstoppable assassin and how his character was shaped.

Not a long work, i read it in a single sitting of about 3 hours but very entertaining and highly enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover
While fantasy novels make up the bulk of my reading, I do like to dip my toes into SF now and again. Over the last few months I'd received no less than three Neal Asher books - an ARC of Orbus, a MMPB of Line War and a nice shiny hardback of Shadow of the Scorpion. My initial interest in each quickly wavered when I realised that all were part of various different series, and I was reluctant to just jump in without any prior knowledge of Asher's books.

By chance, I happened to stumble across Gav's review of Shadow of the Scorpion over at NextRead, and learned that this novel was actually a prequel to the other novels in the Agent Cormac Series. Deciding that this was probably as good a place as any to leap into Asher's universe (and feeling guilty at the thought of letting such a nice hardback gather dust) I decided to give it a go. After the snore-fest that was Jasmyn, I needed something that was going to wake me up and give me a hefty slap around the chops.

Shadow of the Scorpion did a decent job.

Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race, the Prador, Ian Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. In the years following the war, he signs up with Earth Central Security, and is sent out to help either restore or simply maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment. There he discovers that though the old enemy remains as murderous as ever, it is not anywhere near as perfidious or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some of them closer to him than he would like.
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