Neal Asher is a British Science Fiction writer who has produced a whole raft of books. His main body of work is his stories in the very detailed and technologically advanced Polity Universe, standalone books as well as connected series within this shared universe. Neal is known for his militaristic space opera which is action-packed and explores AI, and complex ethical and political questions faced in this future.
Gridlinked follows Ian Cormac as he is sent on a mission to Samarkind after a buffer error on the runcible (what they use for instant travel across the Polity) ends up with thousands killed. Ian is sent to investigate. But recently unplugged from the AI network to save his sanity Ian needs to rely on his investigative skills and try to regain his Humanity. On Samarkind Ian must avoid a killer from his past and uncover the secrets of this Ice world.
I have been working through Neal Asher’s books and am enjoying the Polity ones, I read Prador Moon and Scorpion before this quickly and bought the next few in the series ready for when I finished Gridlinked.
Gridlinked is the first in the series that centers around Ian Cormac, The Shadow of a Scorpion was like a background story to this character (although that in itself was a very good book) In this story Cormac has been unplugged from the AI network that most in the Polity use. He has been connected too long and one of the side effects is losing your Humanity. So he is unplugged and needs to get his brain back into investigation mode. Something that made him a good choice for ECS in the first place. It is good to see him work and regain his Humanity throughout the book. As well as the main plot of the Runsible exploding and Ian trying to find out who did this and why there is also a subplot which is a carryover from the previous book. An enemy from his past still pursued him.
One of my favorite characters in the story is John Stanton, who is working for the antagonist Adrian Pelter. He is a hired gun who has bitten off more than he can chew and without spoilers, his journey was a good one.
All in all, this was a great story set in a well-created universe, it would be good for anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi action and adventure. It reminded me of Peter F Hailton who is one of my favorite Science Fiction Authors.
The next in the series is Line Of Polity and I am reading this now.
You can purchase Gridlinked from your local Bookshop supporting indie bookshops is important and something I am very in favor of. I like nothing more than to browse physical books. Or if you want you can shop at your local Waterstones, or online at Amazon