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Shadow of the Scorpion

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Shadow of the Scorpion.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Neal Asher(Author)

    Book details


Ian Cormac was raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race, the Prador. In Neal Asher's Shadow of the Scorpion, Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn’t remember.

In the years following the war he signs up with Earth Central Security, and is sent out to help either restore or simply maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment.

There he discovers that though the old enemy remains as murderous as ever, it is not anywhere near as perfidious or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some of them closer to him than he would like.

Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, he discovers in himself a cold capacity for violence, learns some horrible truths about his own past and, set upon a course of vengeance, tries merely to stay alive.

The Shadow of the Scorpion skillfully combines graphic action and sensitive characterisation and is Asher's most accomplished novel to date. (Guardian)A powerhouse cocktail of lurid violence, evocative world-building and typically grotesque monsters, but it’s amazing how much emotion he’s also layered into what could have been a simplistic SF potboiler. Asking difficult questions while still delivering plenty of full-tilt adventure and widescreen action, this is top-notch stuff from an author well and truly at the top of his game. (SFX)Ian Cormac is, it seems, here to stay in the collective consciousness of sci-fi literature… Thoroughly enjoyable stuff. (SciFiNow)An insane, sexy war story full of giant explosions on alien worlds. It's also a well-plotted exploration of the way violence destroys everything, even memory. (Io9)The novel manages to raise some interesting points about what it means to be human in a society where the lines between man and machine have blurred: robots are capable of emulating emotions and humans may be technologically augmented and live indefinitely. When it is possible to have traumatic memories erased from the human brain, the novel questions the wisdom of doing so and suggests that memories and pain shape our psyche. (The Book Bag)

4.4 (5823)
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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • Neal Asher(Author)
  • Tor; Reprints edition (2 April 2010)
  • English
  • 4
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By CC Man on 10 August 2017

    Over the past 15 years or so Neal Asher has built his sci-fi Polity universe into something pretty special. This 2008 novel is a prequel to his agent Ian Cormac series, building the back story to the Polity super agent and providing a backdrop to the five books in the Agent Cormac series (beginning with Gridlinked in 2001). Mr Asher's universe has it all - sentient (and ruthless) A.I.'s; truly nasty bad guys in the crab-like alien Prador; augmented humans; nanotech gone wild; Golem soldiers; mysterious vanished (or are they?) alien species; exotic predatory wildlife. It's Star Trek for grown-ups with hard-edged and occasionally gruesome action, pretty hard science plus truly alien aliens. Definitely comparisons with the late Iain M. Bank's Culture series although Mr Banks is arguably the better and more subversive stylist. But Mr Asher definitely delivers on the action front throughout all his novels with a darker tone than say, the sci-fi of James S. A. Corey or the more Hornbloweresque space opera of Jack Campbell. Definitely recommended.

  • By James 42 on 26 August 2017

    I enjoy reading most of Asher’s stories and this one is no exception. Agent Cormac as at the start of his ECS role.It’s full of fast action and gory fatalities just right to make a person’s blood boil in anger. A gripping story. A good first read for someone new to agent Cormac. It contains space travel in ships off planet and the plot is interesting. Enjoy!

  • By engrossing,addictive read,the style i really enjoy on 6 July 2017

    At first i thought it jumped acenarios too much but as it turned out it added to the enjoyment i was wrong about the endIreally thought cormac father had melded with Amistad...... the true ending seemed more appropiate

  • By Eclectic Shopper on 18 April 2015

    An enjoyable entry in the roster of polity novels. I enjoyed getting a bit of back story on Cormac, but still have many unanswered questions. Then again, unravelling his mystery entirely would spoil things. Good pace, good fight scenes. One of the better ones.

  • By G. Roquefeuil on 1 June 2009

    Being a polity-addict, i jumped on this one with anticipated pleasure. With a somewhat classic construction, featuring alternating periods of Agent Cormac youth, Asher brings us some of the milestones that founded his polity central character's background.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.


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