Shadow of the Scorpion by Neal Asher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This one is easily a better novel than the previous one, but I can't quite tell if that's just because the heavy lifting of the tech and aliens has already been long-established from within Prador Moon.
This one moves well beyond a straight high-tech military porn and delves into the creation of Ian Cormac, of whom later novels are focused, and the reveals he slowly learns about his erased childhood, splitting the novel between his adulthood and his formation pretty equally, while also being embroiled in a techno-political thriller years after the main wars have already been waged.
Human separatists are still an issue, of course, as are the Prador.
More interestingly, for me, is the introduction of the new places and the titles of later books and a hint of their importance for later. It's these things that hook me and make me a fan. A good novel is still a good novel, with a full beginning, middle, and end, but without these juicy tidbits of a far-off adventure, I might have stopped here.
I'm not stopping, suffice to say. :)
I'm really getting into this now. It's no longer a fun and fast-paced pew pew popcorn, but a serious character tale, too. :) Yay!
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