The first volume in a no-holds-barred adventure set in Asher's popular Polity universe
One man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed...
Thorvald Spear wakes in hospital, where he finds he's been brought back from the dead. What's more, he died in a human vs. alien war which ended a whole century ago. But when he relives his traumatic final moments, he finds the spark to keep on living. That spark is vengeance. Trapped and desperate on a world surrounded by alien Prador forces, Spear had seen a rescue ship arriving. But instead of providing backup, Penny Royal, the AI within the destroyer turned rogue. It annihilated friendly forces in a frenzy of destruction, and, years later, it's still free. Spear vows to track it across worlds and do whatever it takes to bring it down.
Isobel Satomi ran a successful crime syndicate. But after competitors attacked, she needed more power. Yet she got more than she bargained for when she negotiated with Penny Royal. She paid it to turn her part-AI herself, but the upgrades hid a horrifying secret. The Dark AI had triggered a transformation in Isobel that would turn her into a monster, rapidly evolving into something far from human.
Spear hires Isobel to take him to the Penny Royal AI's last known whereabouts. But he cheats her in the process and he becomes a target for her vengeance. And as she is evolves further into a monstrous predator, rage soon wins over reason. Will Spear finish his hunt, before he becomes the hunted?
PRAISE FOR THE TRANSFORMATION SERIES
"One of his best works so far ... Asher is a modern master of Sci-Fi" Starburst magazine
"Beautifully paced ... does just as well as at slam-bang action scenes as at painting frightening pictures" Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Blends large portions of horror and mystery into an SF tale of revenge and redemption ... a complex and satisfying work" Library Journal, starred review
"Hardboiled, fast-paced space opera epic ... Asher's books are similar to the world of Iain M. Banks' Culture universe, but the Polity is arguably a much darker and more vicious environment - and all the better for it" TheRegister.co.uk
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Thorvald Spear died a century ago, murdered on an alien battlefield. Now he’s back in a new high-tech body to destroy the twisted AI that killed him. Set in sci-fi master Neal Asher’s Polity universe, this epic took us on a fast-paced and violent ride through a future where computers rule and humanity as we know it is a fuzzy memory. Equally action-packed and thought-provoking, it’s a dazzling start to a trilogy.
I’m lost for words
… though Neal Asher definitely isn’t. This was my introduction to his work and it has completely blown my mind. Epic in scale, yet intensely personal. Ideas beyond belief, yet grounded in plausibility. Terrifying, yet intriguing. I can’t wait to continue on this journey!
Dark Intelligence by Neil Asher
What a long-winded, depressing view of the future of humanity!
I did finish it by sheer determination & feeling that surely there has to be some relevance to it and maybe even an ending .... sorry, it just fizzled into the void of space.