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Orbus: A Spatterjay Novel [Kindle Edition]

Neal Asher
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In charge of an old cargo spaceship, the Old Captain Orbus flees a violent and sadistic past, but he doesn’t know that the lethal war drone, Sniper, is a stowaway, and that the past is rapidly catching up with him. His old enemy the Prador Vrell, mutated by the Spatterjay virus into something powerful and dangerous, has seized control of a Prador dreadnought, murdering its crew, and is now seeking to exact vengeance on those who tried to have him killed. Their courses inexorably converge in the Graveyard, the border realm lying between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, a place filled with the ruins left by past genocides and interplanetary war. But this is the home of the Golgoloth, monster to a race of monsters, the place where a centuries-long cold war is being fought. Meanwhile, the terrifying Prador King is coming, prepared to do anything to ensure Vrell’s death and keep certain deadly secrets buried . . . and somewhere out there something that has annihilated civilizations is stirring from a slumber of five million years. The cold war is heating up, fast.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neal Asher was born in Billericay, Essex, and still lives nearby. His previous full-length novels are Gridlinked, The Skinner, The Line of Polity, Cowl, Brass Man, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, Polity Agent, Hilldiggers, Prador Moon, Line War, The Gabble and Shadow of the Scorpion.

Product Details

  • File Size: 930 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (November 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GMSNAF6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ho hum April 6, 2010
Format:Hardcover
The most remarkable thing about this book is that Asher seems to be writing in the present tense... I don't remember him doing that before but it is a bit refreshing.

As for the rest, it is a rehashing and recycling of plots he has already used. Asher has got to slow down on the production as he seems to have run out of ideas. The Cormack novels started with fireworks and ended with page flipping wanting to get it over with.

There is I think a finite limit to the number of times I want to read the word "virus" and "mycelium" in my life. So once again we have a misfit band of brothers going up to battle against opponents with godlike powers that border on magic.

I wonder how it's all going to turn out *this* time.

Asher created a very rich world, he owes it to himself to slow down the production and give us something a bit more interesting than this recycled stuff. It's not a bad book, die hard fans will eat it up I'm sure, but it's definitely not as good as what comes before it because it's recycled the structure and plot.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Asher running out of puff? September 27, 2009
Format:Hardcover
In Latin, "Orbus" means something along the lines of an `orphan, deprived, destitute'. And given how formulistic Asher's most recent Polity-placed novels have been, I have to wonder whether it might also reflect an author who has mined a seam of ideas dry.

Not that there is anything wrong with the novel per se, but Asher's earlier work was richer and more sophisticated, with a level of introspection and emotional tension that "Orbus" fails to provide. Basically, Asher's Spatterjay cast have become so indestructible that there is little worry as a reader that something untoward might actually happen to them.

In "Orbus", this ability to absorb punishment extends from the familiar humans of novels such as "The Skinner" and "The Voyage of the Sable Keech" to the apparent arch enemy, the Prador. Fair enough, for the Spatterjay virus is known to be virulent and indiscriminate. But eventually these interchangeable "can't be killed" characters make for trivial reading. They don't really suffer much - the Prador protagonist has various arms, eyes and legs pulled off but give him a chapter...or a few pages...and they've grown back again, better than before. Even our eponymous Orbus endures steadily mounting damage with little more than a headache and a massive appetite.

But enough of that. What's "Orbus" all about, anyway?

The basic scenario is pretty simple. Orbus is leaving the planet Spatterjay in order to find himself - bad things have been done to him, and he's done bad things himself, so redemption and personal exploration seem to be at the heart of his motivation. His long-standing sidekick, Iannus Drooble, comes along for the ride because he's Orbus' side-kick and that's what a side-kick does, apparently.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spatterjay-Splatterjay November 12, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First things first...I am a huge Asher fan. I have read everything he has offered and eagerly await each new volume and when I heard this was a "Spatterjay" novel I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. Asher has consistently delivered breathless action, gory violence, interesting characters, laugh out loud humor, and sumptuous galactic eon spanning stories all set in his rich "Polity" universe.

Second things second...To truly appreciate the characters, personalities, and Polity infrastructure of Orbus I highly recommend you at least read the two previous Spatterjay novels..."The Skinner" and "The Voyage of the Sable Keach" prior to reading "Orbus". Although the cover jacket for Orbus states this is a Spatterjay novel, it seemed more like a self-contained stand alone novel populated with Spatterjay characters persuing the type of political interests and intrigues usually found in his Ian Cormac ECS Polity Agent storylines.

I am going to quote Budd from Kill Bill to help set the parameters for this review...
"If you're gonna compare a Hanzo sword, you compare it to every other sword ever made...that wasn't made by Hattori Hanzo."

Likewise...this Neal Asher story compared to any other sci-fi space opera novel that wasn't written by Neal Asher would garnish an enthusiastic 5 star rating, but compared to his earlier work it seems to fall just a little short.

What's great about Orbus...

Orbus-an Old Captain...to steal and paraphrase from Jerry Maguire..."You had me at Old Captain", I love these ancient, intelligent, belligerent, interesting, and immensely powerful characters.

Sniper-War Drone...a mechanical version of an Old Captain.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Asher Polity novel April 12, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read about all of Neal Asher's books. All are good though some of course are better than others. This is good Asher, and might be a turning point in Asher's Polity series. His more recent books dealt with the deadly Jain technology. Then he turned to humanity's main rival species, the Prador. This book resolves the Prador conflict in a complete and satisfying, though intriguing way. I wouldn't be surprised if his next book took up an entirely unexpected focus.

My favorite Asher Novel is The Skinner. I would read any book he published although a few, such as Cowl, can be slow going. For those who might like to read Asher for the first time, The Skinner would be a fine rousing start.

Gridlinked would be another good start, though it's early and from the time before he achieved his stride with the Polity series. Gridlinked may have been the first of his novels to be published, though not the first written(?)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, great technology as always
Classic Asher! Good read, great technology as always, and even some decent (and just a little bit ham fisted at times) character development. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Richard Albanese
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Neal Asher masterpiece.
Orbus being but a minor character i the previous book "voyage of the sable keech". Picked up with Him being the central character in this story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Colia
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, terrible kindle version
I enjoyed the book immensely, but the formatting in the kindle version is just atrocious, misspelt words and sentences broken up with weird punctuations makes for a weird reading. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Blomma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Keeps the timeline rolling in his polity series. Well worth the money and time invested in reading the book. Outstanding
Published 5 months ago by R. L. Martinez
2.0 out of 5 stars OK...but just
Long time for the storyline to develop. Hard to foillow events as there is no separation when the book changes settings or perspectives. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tom Schmidt
4.0 out of 5 stars end on a good note.
This was my favorite of the trilogy. I liked the first two, but this one capped the series with a strong finish.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read - best of the Spatterjay series
Good read that clears up a lot of questions concerning Prador and the Spatterjay virus. Should read this one BEFORE you read the last of the Ian Cormac series (Line War) as they... Read more
Published 7 months ago by David Orlebeke
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Outstanding author. He is my favorite now. Stories are exceptionally well written, and pace is non-stop action. He keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Published 12 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars More, Please!!
I just read everything I could in the Polity Universe... this was the very last. I feel like an addict, with these terrible cravings for a Polity fix. Read more
Published 13 months ago by OKJay
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected
The main characters are more complex and more interesting. The plot had several clever and unexpected turns. Quite simply the best book in the trilogy.
Published 20 months ago by ANDRIY BULYNKO
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