Ive just finished the first 4 books in the Cormac series, and I'm looking forward to this. Ive started The Skinner at the moment, but it would be great to have this to come back to after...
I would like to mention though, that it would be great to have some more Polity books without Jain as the main 'baddy', and also as a side note to make sure that the Polity AI's dont become too omnipotent (AKA Culture AI's) as it would loose of the human interest. Saying that, I'm pretty sure Neal knows this and has already explained that it will not happen...
The Polity is under attack from melded AI entity controlling the lethal Jain technology, but the attack seems to have no coherence. When one of Erebus’s wormships kills millions on the world of Klurhammon, a high-tech agricultural world of no real tactical significance, Cormac is sent to investigate, though he is struggling to control an ability no human being should possess, and beginning to question the motives of his AI masters.
Further attacks and seemingly indiscriminate slaughter ensue, but only serve to bring some of the most dangerous individuals in the Polity into the war. Mr Crane, the indefatigable brass killing machine sets out for vengeance. Orlandine, a vastly-augmented haiman who herself controls Jain technology, seeks a weapon of appalling power and finds allies from an ancient war.
Meanwhile Mika, scientist and Dragon expert, is again kidnapped by that alien entity and dragged to the heart of things; to wake the makers of Jain technology from their five million year slumber.
But Erebus’s attacks are not indiscriminate, and could spell the end of the Polity…
Saturday 5th April, 1-2pm London Megastore,
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JR
Line War is the fifth novel in his increasingly popular Agent Cormac series. The Polity is under attack from a 'melded' AI entity with control of the lethal Jain technology, yet the invasion seems to have no coherence. Further seemingly indiscriminate slaughter ensue and Ian Cormac is sent to investigate but he's struggling to control a new ability no human should possess. What's happening could bring about the end of the Polity itself.
All Orders must be placed before 12pm on Friday 4th April
Out-friggin-standing! Fantastic!! Let me think of some other words.
I will post no spoilers, but will say that i am thrilled with this book. I wondered how this arc was going to end as it seemed like it would be difficult to wrap up. I really liked the last Anonymous entry. I hope that this is not the last time we see any of these folks & that they might pop up at some point in the post-Skinner timeframe to help tackle something completely different.
Anyway, please keep up the fantastic tale-telling in any time period (more Arach, Sniper & Tigger please, also love when the Cable Hogue pops up). The Polity universe is definitely one of my favorite places to travel.
My only gripe is the 4 days it takes to get airmail over here to Texas. If only Tor would release at the same time in US, or Amazon UK had Kindle service, i could have read twice by now instead of only getting through the first read. Oh well, can't wait for the next one
I bought this book some time ago, before any of the others in the series. Following my usual procedure for an author I haven't read (borrowing the book from a library or getting it second hand), I purchased this second hand (sorry Neal) even though it called itself the fifth Ian Cormac novel. At the time, I wasn't sure how standalone the Cormac books were. Having seen warnings about an overall arc in the series, I put it aside.
I finally bought the Kindle version of Gridlinked in December 2011, but didn't get far into it. (Nothing to do with the book: I think I read only one complete novel in nearly a year - Teresa Edgerton's excellent Goblin Moon - sticking mainly to non-fiction when I was reading at all.)
Anyway, all of that is a prelude to saying that the Ian Cormac series is a real achievement - novels with standalone story arcs that build together to form a coherent whole. And the jewel of the series in the final novel, Line War, which brings it all together.
As I mentioned the thread on book IV (Polity Agent), this author has a way with technological variety. This becomes even more evident in this book: there's lots of shiny (and not so shiny ) tech, and the capabilities of some of the players are definitely superhuman (AIs, Dragon, Dracomen, to name but three), but it's all blended together to make a consistent whole, one which skirts at the edge of serendipity, but successfully avoids the pitfalls of that. To explain how this is achieved would be to give huge spoilers, but if the reader is prepared to suspend disbelief at one or two aspects, they will be well rewarded with plausible explanations, embedded in a wide-ranging, but well held together, story.
Definitely a five star book in a five star series. As I said: a real achievement. Thanks, Neal
I must say I have found all of Asher's Polity books extremely consistent in quality and appeal. I think you'll enjoy the Spatterjay books in the same way, Ursa, though they do have a quite different feel to them than the Cormac ones. A little more fantastic (rather than fantasy) they are still logical and coherent. However if you've not read Prador Moon then you should definitely read that one before the Spatterjay books.
Also worth mentioning is Shadow of the Scorpion which is a sort of prequel to the Cormac books covering Cormac's early years. This should also only be read after Prador Moon.
*gasps like a marathon runner* Finally finished all five of the main Cormac books.
In a way, The Line of Polity is still the highpoint of the series to me, as I loved Masada and its ecology and the characters whose names I've forgotten like the worker girl and her golem, as well as the ruling religious cult and the creepiest villain and so on. Hard to top. (And I bought The Technician with extra zest.) But Line War was a pretty large-scale work I enjoyed a lot and brought the series to a reasonable close - though I feel like Asher left himself plenty of room for a whole 'nother series, no more is required if he also chooses to go that way.
One of the things I like best is that, if you think back to this stranger named Cormac chucking a head into the ocean or whatever, it just feels like we've come a looong way. Gridlinked was fine but, wow, did the story grow and grow in scale and complexity as well as length. And this volume was either complex enough that I missed any illogic or it was actually as logically counterbalanced and doublecrossed as it seemed. It's rare that I don't complain about "why did so and so and do such and such and when this and that was the case?" But here it makes sense to me why - vague spoilers -
Orlandine and Crane and Dragon and Earth Central and Cormac all did what they did. And that's another of those things - Crane had one heck of a long strange trip and the idea of how he and Cormac ended up was not exactly obvious from how they started
As much as I enjoyed the series, I would like to read (a) some more completely independent SF novels and stories from Asher and (b) more "Polity universe" novels and stories, though. And I will where I can. While I do and don't like aspects of Cowl, I liked a lot of The Engineer and loved Prador Moon, so I also picked up The Gabble for Polity stories and Shadow of the Scorpion, though it's another Cormac, to expand on Prador stuff.
Anyway - maybe I'll discuss it more later but, simply: good stuff.