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Orbus (A Spatterjay Novel) by [Asher, Neal]
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Orbus (A Spatterjay Novel) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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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: 1213 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (November 8, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 8, 2013
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GMSNAF6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We all should be reading nonfiction books on serious topics. Or at least gritty works of sober social realism that deepen our understanding of the human condition.
But for a good time, dial n-e-a-l-a-s-h-e-r. Sometimes, a guy (and I think these are 'guy' books) needs to get down to his bad self, and live the life of an old captain, an intergalactic 007, or a semi-reformed war drone, get out of the dull world of civilized adulthood, and kick some alien booty. I notice that as the years go by, Mr Asher's universe becomes more nuanced, and the good guys and bad guys are becoming more complex, but that's a pleasure too, now that Iain's big shoes are empty.
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