- 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Shadow of the Scorpion (Novel of the Polity) Hardcover – Unabridged, 3 Apr 2009
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'Massively good fun... A top-quality adventure story.'
Another stunning space drama featuring agent Cormac and the horrific legacy of the Prador WarsSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Asher unfortunately seems to be turning out pretty short novels these days and charging ten to fifteen quid for the hardback; much better to wait for the paperback, I think, but his paperbacks nonetheless remain pretty engrossing stuff. There's been several Polity novels now, and I'm not getting bored of the content.
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.
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.Read more ›
The setting is many centuries hence, and Earth and its colonies are controlled by the Polity, an AI-controlled political entity. Humanity's attempts to rule itself have not worked out so well, so now control of human affairs has been (partially) ceded to the AIs, with humanity and AI constructs such as drones, androids and 'golems' (robots cloaked in human flesh who are almost impossible to tell from the real thing) working alongside one another in peace.
The Polity is put on the back foot when it encounters a hostile race known as the Prador, and is soon fighting a desperate war for its very survival. The novel follows two separate timelines. In the former, we follow the family crises afflicting ten-year-old Ian Cormac, whose father is fighting on the front lines and whose brother is serving in the medical corps. In the latter, we pick up Cormac's story ten years later as a fresh recruit helping mop up various worlds following the Polity's (costly) victory. The novel flips between the two regularly and the relationship between events in Cormac's childhood and during the events that first attract the notice of the Polity's ECS (Earth Central Security) agency.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Neal is a God amoung the Space Opera fans. This book maybe slow at some points. But worth reading every word
This is just another chapter in Cormacs life. Read more
I'd heard good things about Neal Asher's science fiction so I picked this one up because although it's connected to his "Polity" series, it's billed as a standalone, so I... Read morePublished 14 months ago by A. Ross
Having read the other stand alone polity novels , I read this and thought it a great start to the cormac series with a lot of threads to other books. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another SF author I can obsess about... brilliant.
I can see why the Agent Cormac series was then written, love that vibe. Read more
this was an excellent read as are all of the books I have read by Neal Asher.Published 22 months ago by jon
Mr Asher's worlds are immersive and detailed. Tough gritty and visceral space drama. Compulsive reading a future classic series too watch for.Published 22 months ago by Horse Dexter
Good engaging read - I am now hooked on the Polity universe!Published on 20 Feb. 2015 by Danny Brown
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