In The Human, the final book in Neal Asher’s epic Rise of the Jain trilogy, an entire galaxy hangs in the balance as the ancient and powerful Jain threat emerges anew . . .
A Jain warship has risen from the depths of space, emerging with a deadly grudge and a wealth of ancient yet lethal technology. It is determined to hunt down the alien Client, and will annihilate all those who stand in its way. So Orlandine must prepare humanity’s defense.
Both humanity and the Prador thought their ancient foe—the Jain—had perished in a past age. And they resolve to destroy these outliers at any cost. Orlandine wants the Client’s inside knowledge to act, but the Client has her own agenda. Earth Central therefore looks to the Prador for alliance, after the Jain destroy their fleet. However, not everyone is happy with this, and some will do anything to shatter this fragile coalition.
As the Jain warship makes its way across the galaxy, it seems unstoppable. Human and Prador forces alike struggle to withstand its devastating weaponry. Orlandine’s life work is to neutralize Jain technology, so if she can't triumph, no one can. But will she become what she’s vowed to destroy?
Asher s Rise of the Jain trilogy comes to an explosive end with this superb, multimodal slugfest that still finds time for nuanced character development and philosophical conundrums. The plot picks up where The Warship left off, with a thousand-mile-long Jain warship having just arrived at a destroyed solar system near the Jaskoran system, under the protection of Orlandine, a "haiman," or human/artificial intelligence hybrid. The Jain, whose "xenophobia and hostility implicit in their biology," pose a threat to all living things, so forces from the Polity of humans and AIs, as well as the alien prador race, join together with Orlandine to protect Jaskor. Fans of every kind of science fictional warfare will find something to enjoy as the combat includes cataclysmic space battles that leave a gas giant aflame, human vs. robot fistfights and battles between biomechanical creations, and information warfare. Returning characters Cog and Trike, both once human and now something more, wrestle with the question of how much alien technology they're comfortable using to ensure victory while Orlandine's complete control over and weaponization of Jaskor raises its own philosophical questions. Asher handles the personal and the pyrotechnics equally well, making this a worthy finale to his winning saga of space warfare.
Generally a good climax. A few things were unsatisfied, but much was resolved, and the variety of action was good – better than the second book in the series but short of the first.