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The Eternal Prison (Avery Cates, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316075604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316075602
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Somers was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. After graduating college he wandered aimlessly for a while, but the peculiar siren call of New Jersey brought him back to his homeland. In 1995 Jeff began publishing his own magazine, The Inner Swine (www.innerswine.com). Find out more about the author at www.jeffreysomers.com

More About the Author

Jeff Somers was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. As a child he imagined he would be a brain surgeon, until a spirit-crushing experience convinced him that in order to be a brain surgeon he would have to actually attend school, work hard, and master basic mathematics. After a severe head trauma, he chose instead to write stories and learn the high art of cocktail mixing, and spent the next twenty years in a pleasant haze of fiction and booze.

After graduating college, Jeff drove cross-country and wandered aimlessly for a while, but the peculiar siren call of New Jersey (a delicious mixture of chromium, cut grass, and indolence) brought him back to his homeland, where he got a job as an Editorial Assistant at a medical/science publisher in New York City. Most experts agree that this is likely where the young man went insane.

In 1995 Jeff began publishing his own magazine, The Inner Swine (www.innerswine.com). His first novel "Lifers" was published in 2001, the Avery Cates series, beginning with The Electric Church, was published by Orbit Books from 2007-2011, and in 2013 published Trickster from Pocket Books with a sequel to follow. He's also had stories published in many magazines, most of which regret the connection. His story "Ringing the Changes" was chosen for "Best American Mystery Stories 2006" and his story "sift, almost invisible, through" appeared in "Crimes by Moonlight" edited by Charlaine Harris in 2010.

He currently lives in Hoboken, NJ, with his lovely wife Danette and their plump, imperious cats Pierre, Oliver, Spartacus, Otto, and Coco. Jeff insists the cats would be delicious.

In-between all this and writing too, Jeff plays chess and staves off despair with cocktails.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Once again Jeff Somers pits Avery Cates against the most impossible enemy and situation.
koko puffs
This novel, unlike the second, displayed Somers' creativity again, with quirky characters, not gigantic originals, but interesting none-the-less.
graphik_persona
The story is told from two different perspectives which makes it a little strange, but all becomes clear in the end.
Carl J. Washington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Czar of Arkansas on September 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
While I thought that The Electric Church was one of the best recent science fiction works I've read, I felt that the follow-up book, The Digital Plague, was less than fulfilling. Jeff Somers has returned to form, however, in the third installment of the Avery Cates series, The Eternal Prison.

Avery Cates is back in The Eternal Prison, which takes place soon after end of the digital plague from the second book. The cops and the army are fighting it out for control of society. Cates, the anti-hero hitman, gets pinched by the cops and thrown into Chengara, a prison specially developed for "people of interest" like himself. Cates has to use all of his wits to stay alive, and staying alive means breaking out.

The action moves along briskly in The Eternal Prison and avoids most of the exposition that slowed down The Digital Plague. Cates always has a new set of associates, since being a Cates associate tends to dramatically reduce life expectancy, but some old familiar faces also are in the mix. The new characters are woven into the story well and are, for the most part, more interesting than most of the new faces from The Digital Plague.

Probably the best thing about this entry in the series, apart from Somers' pacing, are the changes in Avery Cates. He's famous, he's tough, but as things continue to slide downhill, Cates begins to wonder if fighting is even worth the bother, especially if things look like they'll turn out the same way in the end. Or, if he goes on, for what purpose? Cates works through the questions in Cates fashion, simply but directly, without Somers turning him into some fountain of metaphysical mess.

It's a great installment, a return to the tight pacing of The Electric Church, and the central character is revitalized as something more than a stereotype. The Eternal Prison is definitely worth your time and money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Z. R. Murray on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
As the third, and most recent, addition to the continuing Avery Cates serious The Eternal Prison doesn't dissappoint. If you haven't yet read the first two novels featuring Avery Cates, The Electric Chuch and The Digital Plague, I would suggest you pick them up first before tackeling the Eternal Prison. It's not exactly necessary that you've read the first two, but it will definitely make the experience as a whole more enjoyable.

The Eternal Prison picks up where The Digital Plague left off, as we once again follow Avery in his exploits as one of the systems most feared and well known gunners. As this story picks up we find Avery struggeling to carry on in a life where he has lost nearly everything he held dear, and nothing seems to be going the way he planned it. In all honesty the only thing he seems to have going for him this time around is a large amount of yen, though it takes a mountain of it to buy anything with all the termoil. It's funny because he's not so much afraid of getting killed as he is of having an unsatisfactory death after all he's been through.

In the end the Eternal Prison is a fast-paced story that creates a perfect mix of action and even a few unexpected plot twists, though looking back there were plenty of hints. It can be a bit confusing as you first start, but just give it time and have faith in Somers writing skills. By the end of the novel all will be made clear and it's definitely a ride worth taking!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaffer on August 22, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This being the 3rd installment of the Avery Cates series I was a bit worried about not having read any of the other Avery Cates books. "The Eternal Prison" stands on it's own but there are references to characters and events of the past. So reading them in order may be a good idea but not necessary.

Jeff Somers creates a future world where humans are still corrupt and violent and fighting for power, and technology has advanced with scary realism. Where people get their brains digitized and uploaded into avatars and humans get augments to became part machine.

Avery Cates is a gunner (gun for hire), he's great character that you can't help but like and pull for, he's a survivor. In a fight you would want him on your side (and he is usually in a fight).

Jeff Somers is an intelligent and entertaining writer that will keep you flipping pages. I will be reading the rest of the Cates series and I recommend that you do too.

The only note of caution would be language, there is a lot of foul language but the characters would be less real without it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By graphik_persona on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the prior two books in the series and really enjoyed the first book, The Electric Church, while I felt the second, Digital Plague, seemed like a re-hashing of The EC. So I guess you could say I had a little bit riding on the third book, that is, whether or not I would continue with the series based on this book.

In all, I'm going to have to give this book a thoroughly less-than okay read. The things about the first novel, EC, that I liked so well were its originality, pace, and frankly, book-cover. This novel, unlike the second, displayed Somers' creativity again, with quirky characters, not gigantic originals, but interesting none-the-less. For example (*spoilers*): the Ruberto & Marin dynamic, the tin-can Cates, tattooed love-interest whom I think is Avery's first, and the Russian Techie (as opposed to the softer needle-nosed Americana style). These were intriguing characters, not necessarily developed, by interesting.

What this installment lacks compared to the first is pace and coherence. The novel drags at many points and where Somers excels in terse dialog, he's much less skilled with scene descriptions which he used alot both here and in digital plague. He also seems to have almost no geekish interest in the machinery, i.e. hovers etc, that he writes about, giving a lack of tech-speak to the novel's feel; a draw-back for a cyber-punk. The first half of the book is also split between "time-lines" *wink* which makes it difficult to follow, and having read the first two books quite some time before this one, I was lost on the whole SSF mythos- to be honest I'm still unclear on what the System is or the Civilian Army.

So, the novel addded some new creativity to the mix and moved the Cates-universe along.
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