Shadow of the Scorpion: A Novel of the Polity (Polity #3)
She turned and gazed at Cormac for a moment. "It would appear that this soldier is a walking abattoir."
That said, this isn’t criticism, it’s actually a nod to an author who keeps himself in check when that is what is required, or at least as far as page count is concerned. Th ...more
This is a prequel of the Agent Cormac series and follows Ian Cormac through two time periods - his childhood during the war with the aliens and his youth when he joined the Earth Central Security.
The war is over, but there are alien stragglers left behind who are still lethal. Their technology is attracting the separatists determined to use it against the Polity. Cormac shows certain skills which involve him with the intelligence operations and hunt for the traitor. Through these events ...more
Or does it? This book does two things really nicely:
1. Tells us the story of how Ian Cormac came to join ECS an ...more
Another installment in Asher's Polity Universe, this tale gives us some of the background to Ian Cormac's early life, his joining ECS and how he acquires that lethal Tenkian ...more
Prequel/last book in the Cormac saga offers all that you expect in a Polity novel; a fast and satisfying read, however it does not offer anything essentially new for Polity "veteran reader" and it is quite predictable in some ways.
The novel rounds Ian Cormac's character well showing his beginning as soldier and later ECS agent with childhood flashbacks.
It could also serve as a great introduction to the 5 book "main" Cormac saga and I think that newcomers to Mr. Asher's work would enjoy it gre ...more
There are two faces ...more
This book is listed on Goodreads as Polity #3, but I think it could also be listed as Cormac #1, because we get to see Agent Cormac's formative years. A blending of events, the winding down of the Prador War and Cormac's background information all nicely packaged into one strong book.
I'm usually not a fan of back and forth timelines, where the characters bounce between the past a ...more
The writing is uneven (there are chapters that verge on torture-pron), the characters linear and dull and the ...more
Critics read Shadow of the Scorpion in several different ways. The book can be read as a political commentary on the impacts of war, especially counterinsurgency campaigns, on an individual's memory and personality. Or it can be read as an action-packed, well-plotted story with larger-than-life heroes and highly sophisticated weaponry. It was the coexistence of these two levels of storytelling that impressed reviewers. Those who were fans of Asher's other books felt it lived up to his previous w...more
Excellent story, good cleanup and a must read for Polity fans. Reveals a lot about Cormac and Amistad who are scatterred throughout all the other Polity books.
Asher's writing in this books lacks any depth whatsoever, and reads more like a book written by a child. He feels the need to explain some things that are patently obvious given their context, but leaves other things (the words he seems proud to have invented or appropriated) unexplained. His repeated use of a non ...more
Only for those ...more
Interesting, insightful, exciting in places, if not genre-redefining. Perhaps bloodier than I really like, personally, but that is Asher's style. Maybe he'll grow out of ...more
The novel highlights the Prador social hierarchy, and the use of mind control to create slaves both among Prador children and also among human prisoners.
Asher uses that to compare with the practice among humans of editing out memories, both to create more willing warriors and also unwillingly on children to hide unpleasant truths.
This definitel ...more