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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher (Transformation #1)

Dark Intelligence (Transformation, #1)Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: One man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed....

Thorvald Spear wakes in a hospital to find he's been brought back from the dead. What's more, he died in a human vs. alien war that ended a century ago. Spear had been trapped on a world surrounded by hostile Prador forces, but Penny Royal, the AI inside the rescue ship sent to provide backup, turned rogue, annihilating friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction and killing Spear. One hundred years later the AI is still on the loose, and Spear vows for revenge at any cost.

Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate, but after competitors attacked she needed power and protection. Negotiating with Penny Royal, she got more than she bargained for: Turning part-AI herself gave Isobel frightening power, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret, and the dark AI triggered a transformation that has been turning her into something far from human….

Spear hires Isobel to track Penny Royal across worlds to its last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and quickly finds himself in her crosshairs. As Isobel continues to evolve into a monstrous predator, it's clear her rage will eventually win out over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt before he himself becomes the hunted?

Dark Intelligence is the explosive first novel in a brand new trilogy from military SF master Neal Asher and a new chapter in his epic Polity universe.

Read for April book group.

Space crabs. Rouge AI's. Out of work assassin drones. Human's being transformed into hooders. Crabs being transformed into humans. War drones turned Planetary Warden's. A human who may not necessarily be who he thinks he is. Scifi doesn't get much better than this. Seriously good reading.

The main plot is that of revenge and retribution.

The subplots add the complexity. Thorvold Spear, resurrected after 100 years is bent on revenging Penny Royal for destroying an entire planet he was on during the Prador War. Isobel Santomi, merchant of cored humans and thralls for the Prador, made a deal with Penny Royal to be even more than what she is - she wanted to be a predator. Sverl, Prador, asked a similar request of Penny Royal and now finds himself protecting that which he thought he loathed. Penny Royal's purpose is woven through all three, and has its own justifications for what is going to happen.

This was just...brilliant. Asher's books start out methodical, with carefully laid plot work, then BAM! You can't put the book down and you don't know where or when exactly that happened.

Scifi doesn't get much better than this. Seriously good reading. So why are you reading this review?! Go read the book!

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