Prador Moon by Neal Asher

I’ve been on holiday for the last couple of weeks, in Bath, Winchester, and the Isle of Wight, so not much in the way of writing was achieved. But I did do some reading. One of the books I devoured was Neal Asher’s Prador Moon.

As I’m also currently reading Ian M Banks’ Surface Detail, I couldn’t really help comparing and contrasting the two. Both are space operas featuring a human spacefaring civilisation (Asher’s Culture equivalent is called the Polity) and both authors are known for their gritty and somewhat dark depictions of violence and brutality. But when I was plowing through another of Banks’ breezy discursions on the wonders of the Culture, the power of Asher’s economical exposition really became apparent. Prador Moon is a non-stop thrill ride, and yet the fact that I knew nothing about the Polity before I began reading it never seemed to slow down the action for an instant. The book’s construction is almost cinematic in the way that each scene begins as late as possible, and ends as soon as possible. Nothing is wasted. The plotting is tight and satisfying.

The level of invention and originality on display in the creation and description of all the various bits of technology and battlecraft is impressive enough, but where Asher really shines (although perhaps that is the wrong word!) is in the creation of the Prador themselves, surely among the most horrifyingly repulsive creatures to inhabit a fictional universe, and yet utterly compelling for all that.

I’ve already bought the next book (I’m going to read them in internal chronological order) and I can’t wait to get the next dose of fast-paced and gripping action. You can get it on Amazon here.

Prador Moon (Polity 1)
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