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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Prador Moon
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on 11 February 2008
The human Polity, a society run by AI's with technology allowing them to travel instantaneously throughout the galaxy through the use of Runcibles, planet based systems that are run by the AI's. The Polity lives in relative peace, but now the Prador, a species of huge crab-like creatures with technology equal to that of the Polity is discovered. The first meeting between the two has now been arranged and it is with this meeting that the true intentions of the Prador become apparent. Peace is not an option that they consider, they require the immediate surrender of humanity, starting with the station on which the meeting takes place.

Following on from this first meeting, the Prador are attacking planets in Polity space that border their kingdom. Agents from ECS (Earth Central Security) are among those fighting the Prador on the front line, with Jabel 'U-cap' Krong being the most prominent of these, his nickname saying it all: Up Close And Personal. Present on the Avalon Station during the first meeting, he now fights the Prador successfully with many kills to his name, something difficult enough to do to a species that doesn't die easily.

Events are now bringing all the players to one system: Trajeen. It is here that tests are being carried out on a new space based cargo Runcible. Moria is helping the AI with the work, seemingly able to compute far beyond what is normally known thanks to her privately fitted aug designed by a fugitive. The Prador, finally showing an interest in the Runcible technology that they don't possess, are heading to the system with contacts in the human separatist movement that they hope will help them achieve their goals. Jebel Krong is also there, knowing that the Prador are on their way and planning to stop them getting their hands on Runcible technology.

Prador Moon delivers everything that you should have come to expect from a Neal Asher story: wonderfully realised aliens, AI's with attitude and page after page of action that is delivered in so many different ways. Clearly, Neal has written a story set to specifics here, there's no going off into too much detail and the action focuses on the events at hand from a few perspectives. This is typically Neal and the story he is telling suits the format it's told in. I could well imagine this story told in over double the size - there is more than enough opportuniy to expand - but it's the compactness that makes it such an enjoyable and quick read.

Perhaps some of the drawbacks will only appear if you've yet to venture into Neal's Polity books. The story is set at a very specific time and although it should really be the beginning of the human-Prador experience, it does need expansion and back-story to fully explore this situation. Although this is done in both The Skinner and Voyage of the Sable Keech, it really is a book for those that know at least some other aspects of Neal's Polity universe. Although the positive to the above could be to put this novella at the starting point of Neal's work and continue to his other stories from there.

Bottom line, if you like fast-paced action and are looking for something to read over the weekend, this should be high up in the running, regardless of whether you're new to Neal or not.
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on 4 May 2015
An interesting entry in the series of polity novels. It fleshes out a bit more of the backstory between humans and the Prador, and recounts an early encounter in the war in which the humans use an audacious tactic to win an early skirmish.

The desperate planning on the human side, as they attempt to outwit and outgun a technologically superior species with an utterly different psychology, is related in a breathless and edge of the seat style that reminded me of the first owner novel. This part of the book is very pact, and a real page turner.

Another enjoyable entry to the canon, although I wouldn't say it was his best.
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on 22 February 2014
Fast paced, brutal, a bit of a page turner. A good and engaging read, albeit short, and as some have pointed out, doesn't make use of the potential it builds up. I suppose the other books in the Polity series will have to do that. Plenty of concepts to think about - semi-far future - galaxy is colonized, essentially by humans only - the backbone of human civilization is under AI control - poverty eradicated.
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on 29 April 2015
I have to say that this was a bit too much like Starship Troopers for my liking; a bunch of evil, cannibalistic aliens (taking on the guise of overgrown shrimp as opposed to insects) threaten mankind with superior weaponry but are defeated by humanity's AI-aided intellectual genius.. the character development of the protagonists was on the shallow side, and the subplots (e.g., galactic greens in the form of human anti-artificial intelligence activists trying to sell out humanity to the baddies to end AI as a force in society) weak. I think I've read better Asher
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on 6 October 2015
I did quite enjoy this book, but I guess the thing that was in my head was that I felt it was close to Iain M Banks' universe (The Culture) - I think I always felt, reading his books, that it was a bit too much everything-will-be-OK-in-the-end, so I think I often felt that there was not all that much suspense. Maybe I'm wrong in making the comparison, but I don't necessarily enjoy reading stuff so much when I feel that I know more or less how it's going to work out.

I also felt like the bad guys were a bit too much like cartoon-style villains - no redeeming features, and ultimately (spoiler alert), you have this feeling that of course the good guys of humanity will win. Actually I think he tells you this well before the end....so it feels more like a question of how.

It was still an OK read for me, but something like Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space for me created a universe with more depth, and with much more of a sense of foreboding, suspense and uncertainty.
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on 31 January 2016
An okay piece of military SF, somewhat reminiscent of Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga. We have a psychotic alien crab species with super armour on their ships (never plausibly explained in the text) hell-bent on literally ingesting human civilisation. One interesting question, never raised in the book, was how could organic intelligence ever evolve with absolutely no empathy? This seems pretty unlikely; leaving us with stereotypical comic book villains, replete with twirling mandibles. Otherwise, it's a routine romp of alien monsters, anti-matter weapons, and anodyne characters.
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on 22 June 2006
If you are familiar with Neal Asher's 'Polity' series then 'Prador Moon' clears up a few loose ends. The Prador race were introduced to readers in 'The Skinner' and 'The Voyage of the Sable Keech' but this work paints in far more detail. A bit shorter than some of Asher's other works, but no less brilliant. In fact, you're swept along at such a pace that it's almost impossible to slow down. Fans of Asher's work will buy this book regardless of reviews it receives, but if you've never heard of the Prador, or even Neal Asher, fear not.....I'll spell it out for you. This is a great read.
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on 20 March 2012
This is actually a prequel to Asher's entire Polity universe, of which the Spatterjay series is a part. It's quite an old-fashioned book, in that it is only 222 pages long and tells a wonderfully concentrated tale. Asher packs so much into the surprisingly few pages that it feels like it holds more content than some authors manage in books three times the size.

The Prador are a species of crab-like aliens, and boy are they NASTY. This book tells the story about how the war between humans and Prador first began, and it's a fantastic read. It rattles along at an amazing pace without foresaking characterisation, and also gives a lot of information without resorting to overlong info-dumps. Much of what happens in this book is quite breathtaking, particularly in the latter stages. It's the sort of book you read in one or two sittings, unable to put it down until you turn the final page.

I actually read this after having read the Spatterjay trilogy, so it was a huge amount of fun to go back and discover the root of all the troubles. Highly recommended.
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on 20 April 2015
Prador Moon is a standalone novel set in the Polity universe from popular science fiction author Neal Asher. When humans meet the aggressive Prador race of crab like creatures an epic interstella war ensues. Packed with high-tech space opera action this is a fast and furious blast of pure energy. If you like the Gridlinked Agent Cormac series of books by Neal Asher then I’d recommend this as a short fix of escapism from the same author. The story is told from multiple points of view and is crammed with tech weapons, starships, weird creatures and fantastic devices. For beginners and the curious this is a great way to start getting into Asher’s Polity Universe books. To summarise this is not stuffy boring sci-fi but fast paced, space fiction from a very talented author. Enjoy.
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on 10 February 2009
The book is short like other people have commented but much worse than than this its under developed. The books reads like the first half of a book that didn't get finished. The climax feels like a middle section of a bigger story. I'm left puzzling how this got past an editor. The book should have been twice as long and far wider in scope. However, after reading the line war and Neal's handling of the war (honestly, putting in REALLY big numbers of ships doesn't make the battles more exciting) perhaps this was for the best.
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