A stirring stand-alone novel set in Neal Asher’s Polity universe.
The Theocracy has been dead for twenty years, and the Polity rules on Masada. But the Tidy Squad consists of rebels who cannot accept the new order. Their hate for surviving theocrats is undiminished, and the iconic Jeremiah Tombs is at the top of their hit list.
Escaping his sanatorium, Tombs is pushed into painful confrontation with the reality he has avoided since the rebellion. His insanity must be cured, because the near-mythical hooder called the Technician that attacked him all those years ago did something to his mind that even the AIs fail to understand. Tombs might possess information about the suicide of an entire alien race.
The war drone Amistad, whose job it is to bring this information to light, recruits Leif Grant, an ex-rebel Commander, to protect Tombs, along with the black AI Penny Royal, who everyone thought was dead. The amphidapt Chanter, who has studied the bone sculptures the Technician makes with the remains of its prey, might be useful too. Meanwhile, in deep space, the mechanism the Atheter used to reduce themselves to animals stirs from slumber and begins to power up its weapons.
With an intriguing and well-developed back story, this space opera, published for the first time in the United States, is a first-rate example of the grand, dark, and complex story Neal Asher fans have come to expect.
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Neal Asher is a science fiction writer whose work has been nominated for both the Philip K. Dick and the British Fantasy Society awards. He has published more than fifteen books, many set within his Polity” universe, including Gridlinked, The Skinner, and Prador Moon.
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