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The Voyage of the Sable Keech Paperback – Unabridged, 6 Oct 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, Unabridged, 6 Oct 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; New edition edition (6 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330411608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330411608
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 834,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'As well as...narrative energy, another of Asher's strengths lies in his world-creation...his detailed imagining of a demented ecology...' -- Interzone

'What's most striking about The Voyage of the Sable Keech is its sense of supreme story-telling confidence' -- Interzone

'a thrilling page-turner, but...also an unsettling reinvention of an already monstrous world...and a hell of a lot of fun.' -- Interzone --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A return to the water-bound world of Spatterjay, teeming with bizarre characters and gruesome monsters --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Following on from The Skinner and an off-shoot of Asher's 'Ian Cormac/Polity' series we are returned to the world of Spatterjay, where life on the planet is insanely vicious due to the regenerative effects of a common virus which gives those infected a massively increased resistance to pain and damage.

The Sable Keech of the title is a boat built for 'Reifications'. These 'Reifs' are people who have been killed but their bodies and minds held together by technology. The name of the boat refers to the only reification who ever successfully 'rose from the dead' through a combination of the Spatterjay virus and nanotechnology and whose re-animation has inspired a cult to follow in his footsteps.

Nothing is quite as it seems however: the WindCatchers getting 'auged' and waking up to the possibilities of their world, the re-appearance of a Prador adult, the robot drone Sniper getting his new (and fully militarised) drone body after 10 years as the planets AI warden and a coup amongst the Reifs and, of course the normal everyday issues of trying to survive on a planet where pretty much everything is lethal.

Neal Asher is one of the few British sci-fi writers that can be mentioned in the same name as Iain M Banks. He has a fluid writing style with a great sense of plot timing that makes for a gripping and exciting story set in an entirely believable possible future. If I have any issues with this book, it's the authors tendency to rely a little too much on the lifeforms of Spatterjay and other Polity planets at the expense of the developments of the main characters but that is really a minor gripe compared to the excellence of the book.

You will enjoy this book more if you have read the previous book [...], but this book is certainly good enough to stand on it's own. A definite 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't quite lay my finger on what exactly makes Mr. Asher's stuff flow so smoothly, or how he seems to create such a fantastic futuristic but dead real seeming world.
Voyage, despite my promises to read it slowly, is one of those books that just swiftly changes your priorities for you. Neal has mastered the art of switching focus between plots and sub-plots, main characters and minor to such a degree, that he switches plots at the exact right moment to hold up momentum for the plot being switched from and cleanly into the next.
it's art.
voyage comes as a follow up to the classic "the skinner" which i suggest you read first, though, he does a brilliant job of making the book stand on it's on, with just the right amount of back story.
the world is Spatterjay, where a virus left to it's own devices for untold time, has produced immortality in it's hosts.
combine this with a dark past with human slave trade with an alien race known as Prador, and mysterious Hive minds jockeying for possession of Sprine, the one substance known to kill the Spatterjay virus, and it's host, and it virtual chaos, as a ship full of "reifs" attempt to re-create the voyage of Sable Keech, the own known reif to successfully come back from the dead.
seems like this would be to busy of a storyline, but asher weaves it together in a style i personally have grown to love.
five stars isn't enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another weird and wonderful tale from the vicious planet of the aptly named Spatterjay from Neal Asher. Readers should start with the earlier volume The Skinner of which this is a continuation. A more hostile place you could not dream of, so much so this could arguably be put in the Horror section of books. Set in the wider Polity universe Spatterjay is a Polity protectorate governed by one of the ruling AI's and the Polity's old foe the monstrous Prador features heavily. The planet's creatures, a set of monstrous and deadly denizens are the background on which another fantastic tale which if described would sound too far-fetched but it all works beautifully and this and indeed all Asher's Polity and Agent Cormac novels are highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
If you enjoyed The Skinner, you will love this latest excursion to the insanely dangerous waterworld of Spatterjay. I really had a good time with this book! It has all the elements I like about Asher's Polity stories, including his sheer creative exuberance. Viruses, hive minds, voracious monsters, exotic weapons, giant whelks, this has it all! Complexly plotted, fast-moving, bursting with action, swarming with extremely nasty alien life forms and featuring some ace futuristic military tech, this is a novel which will immensely please Asher's existing fans and will get him plenty of new fans too. Acquire this book now!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ten years ago Sable Keech was one of the walking dead. A reification; a walking corpse with high tech embalming fluid running through his veins, animated by servo motors at his joints, and controlled by a copy of his brain running on a memory crystal. That was until by a combination of nanotechnology, makeshift medical care and a large degree of pure luck he was resurrected back to real life.

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.
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