Neal Asher followes up his impressive debut novel Gridlinked (my review here) with The Skinner, which takes place in the same Polity universe but with the action focused on the planet Spatterjay, arguably the most dangerous Earth-like planet in the universe, with indigenous life forms straight out of nightmares.
The Skinner deftly weaves space opera and hard noir into a compulsively readable whole, with interesting and well-drawn characters (including a walking 700-year-old police officer corpse), some of the most unpleasant crimes against humanity ever put to page (think the Borg but much worse), and very spunky artificial intelligences.
This is one of those novels that will keep you up till four in the morning.
(As an aside, whoever conceived of and approved of the cover for this novel should be fired immediately. Don’t let it turn you off.)
Related Core Dump reviews:
Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?
After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.
A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.
Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.
Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?