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The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay, #2)
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The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay #2)

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,411 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Sable Keech is a walking dead man, and the only one to have been resurrected by nanochanger. Did he succeed because he was infected by the Spatterjay virus, or because he came late to resurrection in a tank of seawater? Tracing the man's last-known seaborne journey, Taylor Bloc wants to know the truth. He also wants so much else - adulation, power, control - and will go to...more
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Published August 21st 2009 by Tor Books (first published February 2006)
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Susanne
Oooh boy, where to start. Having loved the HECK out of The Skinner, I think my expectations for Voyage may have been a bit too high. Let's see.

The Good
We're back on Spatterjay with its tremendous fauna, whose cast includes a 20-metre tall whelk with eyes the size of dinner plates. Whoa. Plus, of course, attendant leeches and the rest of Hooper's carnivorous food chain. Also, hooders. HOODERS! Awesome.

The Bad
While in The Skinner, we were introduced to said food chain via a story unfolding alongsi...more
Kam Oi
Disclaimer: I haven't finished the book.

This book is the sequel to The Skinner, which I really enjoyed. And it has all the same cool stuff as the first book -- sailing ships, a virus that renders people practically immortal, a planet full of lethal wildlife, reanimated dead people, and so forth. The problem is, I got more than a third of the way through this rather thick paperback and there doesn't seem to be anything new yet. It's the same world and mostly the same characters with a few new fac...more
Jason Kelley
I gave it four stars not because it's brilliant, but because it's pure Asher. The followup to The Skinner. It's the same story. Not really, but sorta. There are almost all the same major players as last time, strange sea creatures, drones, Prador, etc, etc, etc. A bunch of stuff is happening and everyone has a hidden agenda. As the story unfolds all those agendas are revealed as all events and actions merge to become a great climax. Sounds pretty normal for an Asher book huh? Reads like a movie...more
Jobby
The second book set on the world of Spatterjay. The setting manages to combine old style pirates with far future tech and an incredibly dangerous ecology. Asher's writing style is a joy to read and there are some great characters in here (especially the AIs). I also love the little snippets about what the local wildlife is doing (mostly eating each other). A brilliant book by a brilliant author.
Mike
Not quite as kinetic, horrific, and high-paced as the first book in the series, but good enough to have me buying the third in the series by the time I was half way through it.

Plenty of wince-inducing brutality, coated in grim humour, set in one of the most voraciously aggressive ecosystems I've read of.

When I finish the third book I'm confident I'll move on to more of Asher's work.
Lauren
Further awesomeness from Asher. Continues with the adventures of our friends from the Skinner, and adds some good plot twists. Plus a hooder, and a really big whelk. Slightly insane characters and hive minds also come in for a share of the action, and our favorite war drone takes delivery of a new body. Loved it!
Sandrus
One more great adventure taking place on the Spatterjay planet.
Robert
Neal Asher now has a fairly long catalogue of science fiction thrillers to his name. They are not attempts to examine political or social or philosophical questions or to investigate "the human condition." They are entertainments. This is neither the best nor the worst of them.

Asher takes us back to the wet and violent world of Spatterjay, first encountered in Skinner, where a virus with astonishing properties infects every type of animal and confers on them longevity and the ability to survive...more
Psychophant
Nov 26, 2008 Psychophant rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who loved "The Skinner"
First of all you must know this book is a sequel to The Skinner, a good book in my opinion.

In this case the sequel does not live up to the first book in the series. First of all it is highly derivative, and second, it does not really add much to any of the characters you grew fond of in the previous book. They do roughly the same things they used to do, but with much less emotion nor concern for what will happen to them. The supposed plot twist is quite obvious once the coincidences start to pi...more
Bracton
Crossposted from: http://linguisticturn.wordpress.com/2...

Neal Asher's The Voyage of the Sable Keech raises an important question: how many extremely graphic episodes of giant whelk rape is too many? As the book conclusively demonstrates, the answer is: even one.

But, asks Asher -- pursuing this intriguing line of thought -- is it perhaps acceptable to recount a rapacious male whelk "extruding the long, tubular, glassy corkscrew of his penis" and using it to "grop[e] around between her organs" wh...more
Allan
Back on Spatterjay, a group of reifications have built a giant ship, called it the Sable Keech and plan to follow in his footsteps by sailing to the Little Flint and being reborn.

Meanwhile, the Prador, Human war is over and an uneasy peace exists between Earth and the Third Kingdom. Unfortunately, all alone and trapped in his father Ebulan's ship on the bottom of Spatterjay's ocean, Vrell is completely unaware of this and is doing his best to survive becoming an adult and being infected by the S...more
Tim Hicks
Good fun. I just finished a Greg Egan novel and I needed something lighter. Not that this is fluff. Asher has built an intriguing and complex set, filled it with interesting and complex characters, started them going in mostly-credible ways, and figured out some plot complications to nudge the plot along.

He may have overdone it a little with the enormous cast of nasty creatures, but I'll credit him for a lot of work in figuring out how they must all interact.

The Old Captains are a great idea....more
Trey Howard
One of those rare sequels that manages to improve on the first. Voyage takes us 10 years after the events of The Skinner, to a rapidly transforming Spatterjay. Most of the major characters from The Skinner return, and we see the back-stories of many aspects of Neal Asher's universe fleshed out.

Having started reading Asher's first novel, Gridlinked, I was unimpressed and stopped reading partway through; it felt like a dumbed down version of Ian M. Banks's work mixed with Richard K. Morgan. I'm gl...more
Ant
I really like this world, so it's a biased review.
It's not that the prose is fabulous, that the story is either ingenious or utterly profound or that the biology of this alien world is flawlessly described. It's just a solid story, with some good characters that is really fun to read. Its set in a thought provoking world that leaves you thinking about the lives of the characters and the worlds flora and fauna long after the story is finished or even forgotten.
Can't wait to start the next in the...more
Jim Mcclanahan
Jun 25, 2011 Jim Mcclanahan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jim by: jrmccl@sbcglobal.net
I found this book to be a proper sequel to The Skinner. Many of the same characters with some similar creepy scenarios. Although I find Neal Asher's stories to be more oriented toward action than character development, the players in this tale are intriguing and sometimes even likeable. Some of the plot lines are a bit convoluted, e.g., the real nature of the Prador v. Prador conflict and the real motivations behind the hive minds. But overall, an enjoyable read. I already have the next one, Orb...more
Julia Rose
Just as engaging as the first book. I have rarely liked any actual sci-fi being more of a fantasy girl, but I love this series and think that this a great author. I would highly recommend it for anyone who remotely likes sci-fi!!!
Pablo Martinez
Back to the world of Spatterjay, full of super-pirates and where EVERYTHING is trying to kill you.

The second book in the series, it picks up exactly where the other left. The prador Vrell makes an interesting character, and as always, the crazy war drone Sniper is a lot of fun.

I like how the world evolved, though I still think that it happened too fast to be credible.

Also, the extracts at the start of the chapters detailing the worlds deadly fauna had me rooting for the Whelk.

The book has a sat...more
Tom Zunder
This is the second Spatterjay book from Asher, set in the Polity SF universe.
You need to read the Skinner first.
It weaves a goodly mix of the first book's ideas and characters with a touch of the wider Polity, and explores further the delightfully repellant aliens, the Prador.

I was a little les happy with it than the Skinner, not because of the writing style which is good, but the degree to which it reuses the ideas, characters and plots of the first book and so the originality was lower.

But I a...more
Mya
Once again, I am thoroughly blown away by Neal Asher's writing. A rich, woven tapestry is what he crafts with ever intriguing characters, complex biological worlds and mind-blowing science. Back from "The Skinner" are several beloved characters and some new ones. Yet the underlying theme of this book is the meaning and value of life where as "The Skinner" was a tale of redemption! I really can't say enough about Asher's story-telling and world-building prowess, but I can say that I eagerly await...more
Jon
I liked it but it dropped some of the more interesting aspects of The Skinner, how the atrocities of war affect both victims and offenders both, and instead focused on what I generally find to be among the least interesting parts of Asher's stories, the deadly flora and fauna and their interaction.

All and all, probably my least favorite Asher that I have read so far.
Mike Franklin
I found this another excellent book from Asher. This was actually the first Asher book I read some years ago (from the library) and I'm surprised both by how much I had forgotten and also by the fact that I remembered enjoying it! Looking back now I'm surprised I didn't give up in confusion on that first read not having read the Skinner or any other Polity books previously.
Jonathan
Neal Asher can write, but his characters have no heart. This book is alright, it has a smattering of Culture-like action and then lots of different characters we don't care about doing lots of different things that don't really lead anywhere. The best thread of story features a sea-monster slowly gathering intelligence and losing it again.
David Given
Satisfying, crunchy space opera, full of explosions, giant fighting machines, interesting world-building, unlikely situations, majestic villains, snarky robots and big weapons. Not world-shaking literature, but is all the better for it: this books knows exactly what it wants to be and is all the better for it.
Paige
Neal Asher is compulsively readable for me, probably one of the best of the middle-aged white guy British SF writers, and his Spatterjay novels are the best of his books, imho.

I can't remember if I read this when it came out or not. Oops. We'll call it reread.
Adam
This book suffers slightly for being the middle of a trilogy. The setting and several characters are carried over from The Skinner, but the overall arc of the plot is not as engaging. Thankfully, the book sets things up for the wonderful series conclusion in Orbus.
Simon Ford
Good old fashioned space opera/post cyberpunk escapism, just what the "id" requires. A very enjoyable read, I shall be having some more of Mr Ashers Polity universe as soon as humanly possible, depending on my local library for my next fix.
Pandi
another class book in the Spatterjay series, I would love for Mr Asher to go there again, although there only so much you can do with practically immortal hyper muscled space pirates.

bkwurm
Another in the Polity series following the aftermath of the Prador invasion.

Not bad but not as compelling as the ones featuring Cormac, the gridlinked Polity agent.
mfabry
Not as good as the first one, but still enjoyable. 3.5/5 stars for me. I would give more, but the entire whelkus titanicus subplot was a total waste of time.
Nicole
A new story with familiar characters and new twists. A little predictable in places but very nearly as good of a read as the first book.
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56353
I’ve been an engineer, barman, skip lorry driver, coalman, boat window manufacturer, contract grass cutter and builder. Now I write science fiction books, and am slowly getting over the feeling that someone is going to find me out, and can call myself a writer without wincing and ducking my head. As professions go, I prefer this one: I don’t have to clock-in, change my clothes after work, nor scru...more
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