Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Review: Jupiter War by Neal Asher (The Owner Book Three)

Jupiter War by Neal Asher (The Owner Book Three)

Paperback, 356 pages

Published May 2014 by Night Shade Books

2013 in England

Neal Asher is a British Science Fiction who i consider to be one of the best writers whose work is entirely published in this century. His future is a weird, ultra violent place. Lots of gun battles, and cyborgs, all kinds of utter weird. Most of his novels take place in the Polity universe including my personal favorite The Skinner. This trilogy takes place in a separate universe one was was introduced in short stories Asher published in the past.

The story of Alan Saul a one time human, now he is the owner. Full integrated into the Argus Space Station, his mind controls the ship, he has become something much more than human. After disrupting the plans of a meglomanic dictator who intended to kill off the majority of Zero asset humans on earth Saul is taking the blame in the public. He is heading out into deep space with a stop off at Jupiter to power up. His enemies on earth have one last chance to stop him.

The elephant in the room is how political this trilogy is. I love a good political analogy in Science Fiction and since most sci-fi writers are liberals or left I mostly agree with them. Asher and I however do not see the world the same way. Even though I roll my eyes at many of the messages in this book, I enjoy the story. I like Asher's stories even if I think his views are dead wrong.

Each of the chapters started with a little bacck ground that was written as if A historian was setting up the events and this is where Asher really expresses his views. One of those came in chapter 9 (page 153) where Asher suggests the idea that people trying to make the world a better place are basically just coming for your freedom and want to ruin your life.

As a committed environmentalist and animal rights activist I could not disagree with it more, but it is a relevant in a discussion with this book. Weather it is the dictator Serene Galahad's iron grip on earth or Alan Saul fighting with his feelings after becoming part machine the theme of personal freedom was throughout the book. Yes Galahad is evil for trying to kill off the human race but isn't over population still a problem. It is not Asher's just to offer an alternative, he is just telling a story.

I really enjoyed the story of a man becoming a super human through a technological meld with a ship and and this trilogy looks as if it expand. I will read them of course. If however you are new to Asher I will always suggest The Skinner first.

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