The Warship by Neal Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is something quite amazing.
And when I say quite, I mean, "HOLY S*** what just HAPPENED here?"
It's been a while since I sat down to read SF expecting and eventually receiving a whole AWE effect. This is wide-brained high-tech imagination at its best, building on all the major developments and changes from all his previous books, giving us such massive scope and terror that both the combined might of the Polity AND the Prador are totally freaking out.
It's the Jain, folks. Their nanotech, just a minor sub-sentient bonder of biology and tech that seems so useful and uber-powerful on the surface, is designed to fulfill all your dreams. Too bad it's a tool designed to wipe out every intelligent race it ever comes into contact with, right? Old news from the previous books.
Unfortunately for everyone alive in this later tale, and despite some seriously major Space-Opera military improvements, the combined resources of all kinds of "people", be they Golems, hive minds, AI ships, Prador, Prador-Skatterjay, Human-Skatterjay, Haimans, or Prador-AIs, neither biological transformation or truly fantastic tech OR an old offshoot of the original Jain is quite able to handle this.
In fact, all of life is hopelessly outclassed.
This book is a cumulation of everything, but more than that, it's all battle, strategy, seeming success and bitter defeat. :)
I feel their horror, their desperate hope, and I'm left splattered on the floor.
This is Asher at the top of his game. :)
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