The Voyage of the Sable Keech Paperback – Unabridged, 6 Oct 2006
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'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.
A return to the water-bound world of Spatterjay, teeming with bizarre characters and gruesome monsters --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoying this series, the characters are varied and great fun, the story lines are imaginative, the universe is fully rounded out, great sci fi.Published 2 months ago by Samski
Engrossing as always. Perhaps a touch "more of the same" following on from the 1st in this series (and it's essential that you read them in sequence), and the minor plot... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Keith Trangmar
Always good. Amazing detail. And long, I hate books that end in a few days when you're just getting started.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
As usual a good Asher book although a little tedious .
I hope the third book has more mettle as this one left me feeling a bit bored , which says a lot coming from me as I... Read more
love neil asher's work, hard sf with great story lines. 4 stars because I have enjoyed his other books a little more, but still a great read. recommendedPublished on 27 Feb. 2014 by Mr. J. K. Whitehead