The Voyage of the Sable Keech Paperback – Unabridged, 6 Oct 2006
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A return to the water-bound world of Spatterjay, teeming with bizarre characters and gruesome monsters
Sable Keech is a walking dead man, and the only one to have been resurrected by nanochanger. Did he succeed because he was infected by the Spatterjay virus, or because he came late to resurrection in a tank of seawater? Tracing the man's last-known seaborne journey, Taylor Bloc wants to know the truth. He also wants so much else - adulation, power, control - and will go to any lengths to achieve them. An ancient hive mind, almost incomprehensible to the human race, has sent an agent to this uncertain world. Does it simply want to obtain the poison 'sprine' that is crucial to immortality - and, if so, maybe Janer must find it and stop it. Meanwhile, still faced with the ennui of immortality, Erlin has her solitude rudely interrupted by a very angry whelkus titanicus, and begins the strangest of journeys. Deep in the ocean the Spatterjay virus has wrought a terrible change that will affect them all. Something dormant for ten years is breaking free, and once again the aftershocks of an ancient war will focus on this watery world. And Sniper, for ten years the Warden of Spatterjay, finally takes delivery of his new drone shell.It's much better than his old one: powerful engines, more lethal weapons, thicker armour. He's going to need them. See all Product description
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Full of action, great pace, and wonderfully comic moments, Asher also delves into discussion of the metaphysical re the two Golems and allows it to form the developing spine of the tale.
A fine second book that sets the scene for an even better third (and I'm only a hundred pages into it).
Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.
Now, ten years on, a whole cult/religion has been founded around the events that lead to his resurrection and an enterprising reification named Bloc is building a huge one kilometre long sailing ship to take the faithful and those willing to pay, on a journey to emulate Keech's voyage to a new life.
I really enjoyed book one of the Spatterjay series, but to be honest this second book just didn't hit the spot for me. The pace was very slow right from the beginning, which is not too surprising as most of the main character are shambling walking dead. My favourite characters from the first book were the Artificial Intelligences controlling the drones and the mind of the Warden but these characters were relegated mainly to minor supporting roles with only brief appearances. I also felt like there was not enough original material in this book and it felt very much like a rehash of book one. There were some high points, especially any scene featuring Sniper - a cantankerous old war drone with a serious attitude problem, but there were not enough of these in my opinion.
Overall: 3 stars - I would actually like to give it 3.5 stars as 3 feels a little too harsh, but 4 feels too generous. It is not a terrible book by any means and I will definitely be reading more by Neal Asher, but this book has not encouraged me to want to read the next in this particular series.
This story continues from The Skinner and is delightfully written. It expands your knowledge of the planet Spatterjay. It’s full of excitement and death, an adventure and certainly rivets your attention onto a future time when space travel is normal and ubiquitous. Worth reading.