Zero Point by Neal Asher

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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Another excellent story from Neal Asher – one of my favourite authors – and the second book in the Owner trilogy. I found it much better than the first book but still lacking a certain something compared to his Polity books. These books take place entirely in within the solar system giving them a much more confined feel as compared to the vast tableaus of his Polity space operas and maybe Asher is just much better at writing those huge canvases. Also with not a single alien in sight I did rather miss the wonderfully bizarre aliens he usually dreams up.

As always with Asher I found his pacing excellent; the steady build-up of tension kept my interest going throughout and I found myself burning the midnight oil reading the final 200 pages in one sitting. Few of the characters are particularly likeable and I wouldn’t call this book character driven by any means. However possibly the most interesting character is the main villain of the book; she really is pure evil. Yet much of what she is trying to achieve is completely laudable; it’s just the methods she employs that are pure evil. However that juxtaposition makes her possibly the most interesting character in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the sections written from her perspective.

My biggest complaint with this book was the ending, or the complete lack of one. I know it’s a trilogy but it feels from the ending of this book that it should really have been a single much longer book. However with this volume clocking in at over 500 pages maybe that would have been just too long. The problem is that it there are absolutely no conclusions, little is resolved and really it ends at what can only be a brief interval in the bigger story. This is the second book I have read like this recently and it annoys me terribly; if there is no natural conclusion to this part of the bigger story then it shouldn’t be broken at that point. Never mind, I did still thoroughly enjoy the journey, it’s just that there was no destination to arrive at in this volume.

4/5 stars
 

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