The Line of Polity - Neal Asher

This is the follow-up to Gridlinked, and is still pretty dumb, although not as bad as before. Again, a somewhat unsurprising sudden ending is pulled out of the bag at the very last minute, but after 660 pages it's a long time coming.

I'm not sure what it is about this guy's writing, but it feels as if he's writing in the style of science fiction, rather than writing science fiction. It's pulp action with a super-hero good guy, and it almost might as well be a Western. It's as if he's studied the form, and created something which ticks the boxes, without really caring. The main action take place on a planet with an unbreathable atmosphere and terribly deadly alien wildlife. Except they come across as unrealistic, unscientific cartoons. The technology available is weirdly inconsistent. The plot itself is just a skeleton to hang the action on.

Yet at the same time, this is an unfair description. The world is starting to fill in a little more, and there are hints at a wider plot, but it's just not coming together yet. There are some good ideas, but they aren't really being exploited. So, I'm just left with another dumb action sci-fi book, and the vague hope that it'll all come together later in the series.

Posted 2008-03-08.