countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more scflyout Home All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: Paperback|Change
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on September 3, 2015
Anyone who liked Iain M Banks' sci fi universe will feel right at home here. The same style and wit and scale make Gridlinked a very enjoyable next step if you've finished all of Banks' body of work.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 23, 2014
Good fun sci fi.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 19, 2005
Like the reviewer below, I had some issues with the character development and treatments in this book. Asher sets up his principal character, Ian Cormac, to be a type of futuristic 007-meets-Indiana-Jones. Yet, while he spends a great deal of time in the first 1/3 of the book dealing with Cormac's inner world, I agree with the other reviewer that the treatment of Cormac's gridlink exclusion and its effects on him was rather glossed over in the last 2/3 of the novel, odd considering the title of the work. However, I got a sense early on that this book was setting up characters, technology and worlds that would re-appear later in other works, which of course I now know to be the case, as I've also read Line of Polity.
Asher seems overly enamored of twenty-dollar words when five-dollar ones would suffice. I don't believe hard sci-fi needs to be so obdurate in its word choices - he sometimes uses obscure or almost archaic English in places. While some might excuse this of him as he is British, I've spent enough time in the UK with British intellectuals to know this isn't a universal trait.
Overall, this was an enjoyable enough summer sci-fi read that I also have consumed his other books, but I don't think he's yet on par with his peers, such as Richard Morgan. All the same, I will keep reading his works.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 26, 2005
I just finished this novel last night - and it left me with a feeling that the best has yet to come from Neal Asher.
Many interesting ideas were introduced and Asher's 'Polity' promises to be a great backdrop for many future novels - likewise the main character Ian Cormac is interesting and complex enough to star in many more adventures. For me there were two things that kept it from scoring higher than 3 stars. What follows will not spoil the plot if you have yet to read the novel - however if you would rather dive in without knowing what to expect (like I do)I'd skip the rest of this review, and just buy the book - it is well worth the read.
Firstly, the theme of Cormac being separated from the grid was never fully explored later in the book. I would have liked to see this continued throughout the novel. Asher seems to forget about it half way through and focuses on Cormac as "action hero" rather than "social misfit with no humanity". Pity.
Secondly, there are 2 main plotlines and 1 tiny one which never really crossover in a way that makes sense. The revenge theme just wraps up too easily for my tastes and never connects with The Maker storyline as I hoped it would. The Stanton story ended very poorly and added nothing to the novel for me - a real shame since Stanton was a great character - I was hoping for some real interaction between him and Cormac more than just the "why choose a life of crime" conversation they have that lasts for thirty seconds.
In the end though I thought this book was quite good and I will definitely read his other novels. I would sum up his style as half way between the noir-action of Richard Morgan (Altered Carbon) and the space opera of Alistair Reynolds (Revelation Space) - both great British Sci-Fi writers who I would choose over Asher, but then again why waffle? Just read all three and don't forget to read Iain M. Banks' culture novels as well while you're at it!
-- Ryan Buckley
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 23, 2004
The current crop of British sf writers have restored my faith in SciFi. Hamilton, Asher, Morgan, Banks, et all produce superior stories, tech, and characters. The American debut of Gridlinked doesn't disappoint as Asher really delivers the goods with this story of revenge, xenoc explorations, a hi-tech universe and enough action to really get your heart pumping. What a refreshing change after so much of the mindless drivel that passes for Science Fiction these days, especially the Star Wars series, Star Trek , Honor Harrington and all the rest that passes itself off as scifi. Am I just ranting or do other's feel this way?
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 29, 2004
The technician enters the runcible gate to star transport to the planet Samerkand, but something goes astray and his arrival ignites a nuclear explosion that kills at least ten thousand people. Earth Central Security legend Horace Blegg assigns his top gun veteran agent Ian Cormac to investigate the GRIDLINKED Samerkand disaster. Blegg also warns Cormac that his GRIDLINKED cybernetic implants that tie him into the AI network are destroying his brain. To save his mind he must delink, but can he survive without the technology he has relied on like a drug for three decades?
While Cormac struggles to adjust to an unplugged existence, he makes inquiries into the explosion. However, Arian Pelter and thugs working for him want Ian dead because Cormac killed his sister while working a separatist's case. As Cormac acts and reacts clumsily, Arian becomes self-assured that he will assassinate his enemy soon.
The technology is cleverly designed so that the reader can sense this futuristic galaxy has some unique gadgetry yet all the gizmos are interwoven into the terrific action-packed plot. The investigation subplot into whether an accident or sabotage occurred is exciting and hooks the reader even while the death count dramatically rises. However, the key to Neal Asher's fabulously complex science fiction is Cormac and Pelter whose cat and mouse contest makes for an engrossing and entertaining futuristic science fiction novel that runs at hyperspeed.
Harriet Klausner
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 21, 2003
Every line of this debut novel crackles with energy and ideas. The backdrop is a society enhanced by connectivity (the Grid of the title) and cross-galaxy travel made possible by runcible technology; the plot has all the kinetic force of a runaway bullet train. I'm reminded of Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix, but I think Grindlinked tops that one for pure joy of reading. Buy it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 12, 2003
I loved this book! Gridlinked was a super read set in a high-tech 25th century universe where interstellar travel is done instantly through runcibles-matter transmitters control by A.I.
Ian Cormac-our hero who can best be described 25th century James Bond who is burned out from years of being linked to his AI in missions. Cormac lastest mission he must find the cause of destruction of runcibles which resulted in death of thousands of people. Cormac's got two problems in this case: one is mysterious and possible deadly alien construct called the Dragon who has something to do with the runcible tragedy and the other is brutal psychopathic interstellar terrorist by the name of Arian Pelter who is after Cormac for killing his sister in his last mission! Pelter is aided by terrifying and nearly unstoppable android called Mr. Crane!Gridlinked is awesome space opera that combines hard science with james bondian action sequences between humans, cyborgs and assasins!Asher's world-building skills are wonderful! his Heroes and villians are three-dimensional.I look forward to Asher's next book!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 31, 2003
At first, it may seem that the pace is maybe a little too quick, and that Asher has so much story that he has to squeeze it in. But that's probably just me - it does take me a little while to get to grips with a new book, even if it does feature a universe with which I'm quite familiar. Angelina Pelter may be swiftly dispatched by the fast moving Ian Cormac at the very beginning of this novel, but Cormac's master does allow us to catch up by ordering the removal of his gridlink. Cormac is warned that staying gridlinked for so long may well have dehumanised him. Horace Blegg, Cormac's legendary boss, decides to interrupt Cormac's current mission involving the Separatists on Cheyne III to dispatch him to Samarkand, which has unfortunately been devastated by the destruction of a runcible gate. Thus Asher cleverly gets us to identify with Cormac, since the secret agent seeks to regain his own identity. There's a quote in the novel which says that Neal Asher is just as good as John Meaney. However, where Asher supersedes John Meaney is in the strength of his characterisation (to such an extent that Cormac's strong line on crime and punishment could be jeopardized).
Neal Asher's science is also good. The Runcible mode of transport seems much in line with the recent discovery of black holes at the centre of galaxies (and Asher has been writing about Runcible technology for quite a while). Where Neal Asher has always seemed strongest is in his creation of biological entities - mycelium and pseudopods are real science. However, Gridlinked has also finally revealed that Asher does have quite a whimsical tone. It's a delight to finally discover that the Polity's mode of transport was named after the runcible spoon in Edward Lear's nonsense rhyme 'The Owl and the Pussycat'. Some readers may think that the Polity is a bit like Iain M. Banks' Culture. However, Neal Asher is a bit of an expert in the martial arts, so he's far more knowledgeable about flying shuriken than other writers in this field. Besides, Banks didn't invent AI, as Asher reminds us by nicknaming Earth Central 'Hal'. There's a bit of Arthur C. Clarke in other ways - Dragon is a mysterious godlike being. But Asher also seems to have gone to the very depths of Science Fiction, by utilizing Prometheus in a way that Mary Shelley would have approved of (Dragon turns up in Frankenstein Monster mode, with exceedingly uncharitable thoughts towards its creator). The fantastic Golem android Mr Crane also gets to do his Bela Lugosi impersonation. Asher might have also been reading some literary studies on science fiction - note the term he uses when Dragon produces the first Dracoman on Aster Colora. Although Dragon doesn't have teeth like Spielberg's Jaws, he still has a considerable bite with the help of his pseudopods.
The mention of a creature called 'Dragon' jars at first. But Asher has given his leviathan a character which can be greatly appreciated. Certainly, this seems to be the closest that Asher has ever come to replicating the fantasy narrative that he employed in his first (unpublished) novel. The wolverine substance of adamantium seems to be a marvel too, but Asher's use comes from the fall of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. Like the great Victorian Gothic novels, today's 'Western' fiction still seems alternatively fascinated and appalled by the East, most notably here in the 'presence' of Horace Blegg. Although the concept of the 'dinosauroid' may have entered the realm of the players of fantasy games, it does have an actual basis in fact: Dr. Dale Russell is a real palaeontologist. I was also delighted to see that Asher named Samarkand after the city on the Great Silk Road. Movie makers looking for the next 'Matrix' or 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' would do well to come knocking on Neal Asher's door.
I suppose I was a bit concerned that Anti-Grav Cars modelled on the Ford Cortina might date this novel, along with the pop tune (more Culture Club than Culture is 'Melting Pot'), but the longevity of Edward Lear's nonsense rhyme can be a powerful excuse - we just don't know what part of popular culture will survive in the years to come. Gridlinked deserves to live on, and there is much left in the Asher universe to explore (I was very happy to see mention of the gruesome leeches from 'Spatterjay' again). It turns out the retro Anti-Grav cars are also staple of the Asher universe - they were first mentioned in the Runcible Tale Blue Holes and Bloody Waters. Oh, and did I mention that Neal Asher also has great wit? The novel explicitly compares Cormac with James Bond - the book Bond, rather than the movie Bond, I'd say - Cormac is hard, but fair. The baddies may die in gruesome ways, but Cormac doesn't stand round trying to think of dismissive quips or pointless eulogies. Much of the humour comes from the excellent intros to each chapter (it's the best guide I've read to Asher's Universe). Gridlinked is a fast-paced action cyber-thriller which could beat the sushi out of The Matrix on any day of the week. And the good news is that Neal Asher's novel The Skinner is even better.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse