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The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay #2)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,168 Ratings  ·  55 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
Paperback, 584 pages
Published July 31st 2006 by Trans-Atlantic Publications, Inc. (first published February 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 17, 2012 Susanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff
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
Feb 14, 2015 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
3 Stars

Neal Asher is one of my favorite authors and Skinner book one of the Spatterjay series was fantastic. The Voyage of the Sable Keech, book two was simply just OK. Where book one was an original piece of a science fiction horror creature feature, this one is simply just more. I really would have thought that I would enjoy this one more as all the cool creatures, characters, and The Captains are back for another adventure. Instead, The Voyage of the Sable Keech just feels long. It is crazy
Jason Kelley
Jun 25, 2011 Jason Kelley rated it really liked it
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
May 02, 2014 Jobby rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 29, 2015 Lady*M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
2.5 stars

While it had some interesting scenes and, like always, war drones and Old Captains rock, The Voyage of the Sable Keech was mainly mind-blowingly boring. Yes, that is right. It is certainly one of the weaker books in the series. It was as if Asher was so fascinated with Spatterjay world, which he caught so well in the previous book, that he couldn't let it go. When the big part of the book revolves around murderous fish, the main antagonist is a boring, mustache-twirling villain and one
Tim Hicks
Sep 06, 2011 Tim Hicks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Kam Oi
Feb 03, 2009 Kam Oi rated it it was ok
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
Ben Hatfield
Nov 23, 2015 Ben Hatfield rated it liked it
While not nearly as good as The Skinner, still a good book, and a deeper look into the world of Spatterjay. Most rewarding are the unorthodox characters of an abandoned Prador, and probably the best character in the book a giant whelk (sea monster). The passages about the whelk are always interesting following its inner battles between instinctual impulses vs rapid consciousness brought on by the need to learn and seek revenge. One particular sequence would have Japanese tentacle fans squealing ...more
May 14, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 17, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing
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!
Jun 07, 2015 Martin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Druhý díl bylo zklamání. V první knize byl velmi ohromující popis prostředí světa řádu a planety Spatterjay. To bylo doplněno velmi zajímavým a výbušným mixem postav, motivů a děje. V této knize je prostředí již okoukané, motivy velmi ploché a nejasné (i po přečtení knihy) a děj je vleklý a nezajímavý. Po prvním díle je to velmi viditelný propad.
This book is a disappointment for me. In first book there was the excellent mix of int
Luke Burrage
Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #261.
Aug 30, 2013 Sandrus rated it really liked it
One more great adventure taking place on the Spatterjay planet.
Dec 01, 2010 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
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
Nov 26, 2008 Psychophant rated it it was ok
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
Jul 01, 2013 Bracton rated it did not like it
Crossposted from:

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
Mar 02, 2012 Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Trey Howard
Feb 28, 2013 Trey Howard rated it liked it
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
May 30, 2014 Ant rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Geoff Lynas
May 05, 2016 Geoff Lynas rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-classic
I sometimes don't seem to have the mental stamina to keep up with Neal Asher's complex story telling structures. I failed miserably with Cowl. However, I just about managed with this multi multi protagonist tale. Enjoyed the ecology, enjoyed the characters. Enjoyed the ride.
Jim Mcclanahan
Jun 25, 2011 Jim Mcclanahan rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jim by:
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
Jan 05, 2016 Juniper rated it did not like it
I started reading this book, but gave up after a good 50 pages, for the same reason I don't enjoy the Hitchhikers guide, or Monty Python, it is too weird and absurd for my liking. Onto the next book.
Julia Rose
Jul 09, 2014 Julia Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
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!!!
Dante D'Anthony
Wonderfully detailed weave of plot and characters-not just in this book but across this series and the larger polity universe-layers and layers of detail. Refreshing Humor and believable Human folly and heroism. And AI drone heroism.

Love the drones. Asher really "gets" soldiers and ruffians with the drone mentalities. SO true to life for rough rascals.
Pablo Martinez
Sep 27, 2011 Pablo Martinez rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Feb 24, 2015 Greg rated it liked it
While I loved the Agent McCormac series, the Spatterjay series leaves me a little unsatisfied. In this second installment, a ship filled with animated corpses seek rebirth, while a virus infected Prador attempts to escape from the Polity AI managing the planet. Not great, but I'm planning to nonetheless read the final installment.
Tom Zunder
Nov 05, 2011 Tom Zunder rated it liked it
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
Apr 05, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
I found this a little more cynical than the previous entries in the series, but still a pageturner
Micke Nimell
Jul 06, 2015 Micke Nimell rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Some plot elements were good but there was just too much filler. Slow.
Oct 11, 2009 Mya rated it it was amazing
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
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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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Other Books in the Series

Spatterjay (3 books)
  • The Skinner (Spatterjay, #1)
  • Orbus (Spatterjay, #3)

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