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Line War (Agent Cormac #5)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  3,721 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
The Polity is under attack from a 'melded' AI entity with control of the lethal Jain technology, yet the attack seems to have no coherence. When one of Erebus's wormships kills millions on the world of Klurhammon, a high-tech agricultural world of no real tactical significance, agent Ian Cormac is sent to investigate, though he is secretly struggling to control a new abili ...more
Kindle Edition, Reprints edition, 580 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Tor (first published March 18th 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 27, 2009 Susanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Meh... I don't know. I absolutely loved 'Gridlinked' and 'The Line of Polity' but this one didn't really hit the spot I thought. The plot is great, of course, the final showdown between Polity and Erebus couldn't be anything but. Also, Mr Crane. You can't miss with a character like that.

I think the reason this book didn't sit so well with me was because, in an attempt to suspend my disbelief, Asher constantly managed to do the opposite, by means of over-explanation. I haven't got the book to han
Jun 16, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
Finally I've come to the last Agent Cormac book, Line War, and up to now it's been a ride of ups and downs. The first two books, Gridlinked and The Line of Polity, were rather enjoyable, but they did have their issues. After that came Brass Man and Polity Agent, both of which upped the stakes and delivered some really great sci-fi. Now with Line War the story comes to a conclusion, and while it ends the series as a whole I always had that niggle of a doubt in my mind that it might not be as spec ...more
Bryan Brown
Jan 25, 2015 Bryan Brown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci_fi
This was my least favorite book in the Ian Cormac series of polity novels. It felts abrupt to me as he pulled together all the many threads started throughout the series. The plot was well telegraphed which removed some of the tension earlier in the series and the action was less compelling than the first several books. The biggest problem was how different the characters seemed in this book than in previous ones. These changes were justified by plot points but it was still unsettling to have fu ...more
Apr 16, 2010 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Oo! Released slowly and out of order in the U.S.--start with Gridlinked, if you're interested--a few more of British SF author Neal Asher's books have recently turned up in the Kindle store. I was stoked to get ahold of the conclusion to the Agent Cormac series. I was surprised by how it wrapped up!
Dec 09, 2008 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continues in the Polity series, and raises quite a few questions about the way AIs are running things.

I think it opens up a whole new avenue of stories for future books. And I am looking forward to them.
May 03, 2012 Lisandro rated it really liked it

A fitting finishing for a series of very good books! Mr Asher has a pace of writing that makes it enjoyable and a universe very well constructed. Also de development of characters like Cormac and Dragon and very interesting!!!
Tim Hicks
Nov 17, 2013 Tim Hicks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Not really a full five stars, but enough fun that I rounded up.

I guess I can't get enough of AIs running 20-mile-long spaceships while always seeming to speak with on eyebrow raised and a half-smile.

You really have to have read the earlier books to enjoy this one.

The whole series is huge in scope, and this volume's no exception. There are quite a few major characters on stage. Millions, possibly billions of people are killed, planets blown up, etc. and in the midst of all this there's room fo
May 06, 2008 Guy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neil Asher's "Line War" is a solid conclusion to a brilliant series, but don't read it until you have read the previous four books in what should be (but isn't) called the "Ian Cormac" series. Asher tries to fill in the background for the reader who hasn't read the other books, but frankly he does not succeed and it doesn't work particularly well as a stand-alone story.

On the other hand,"Line War" is a great success as the final book in a series, nicely tying off many story lines and largely pro
The first two Cormac books, although linked, stand on their own. The other three, however, are tightly connected, forming a whole set. Thankfully the last one closes down most threads and although open-ended, gives a reasonable conclusion, and hints that the series stops here.

I confess I was relieved when it ended, as the series had become bloated and a bit unwieldy, with some scenes and imaginative settings, but padded with too much pointless description and repetition.

In this book happen many
Feb 20, 2013 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-yo
Enjoyed, but not as much as previous books in the series.

I found the first half of the book to be bogged down by so many explanations of what things look like, how the AIs transmit information and the intricacies of battle. In the prior volumes Asher had managed to give me feel of these things without it being whole swaths of passages just describing things. Found Orlandine and Cormac more cold and remote than before and less easy to connect with as characters. Luckily the AI characters filled
Alex Borghgraef
Oct 26, 2012 Alex Borghgraef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A worthy conclusion to the Ian Cormac series. Asher has grown a lot through this, the series started as a campy-but-fun Culture-meets-007 romp with a pinch of military SF added (ticking all if my guilty pleasure boxes), but in Line War it finishes on a truly epic note, asking the kind of questions on humanity and the implications of advanced to godlike technology which make SF into such an interesting genre, while ramping up the badassery of the earlier books to unseen levels. Seriously, the Cor ...more
Miki Habryn
The triumphant yet somewhat mysterious conclusion to this plot arc, as tight scripting gives way to inadequately justified motivations, strange reversals, and, most vexingly, no real justification of what was so unusual or significant about the particular characters that became so special. The entire book smells a little like a hunt for a sufficiently grand conclusion to wrap the story up; methinks Asher got a little tired of this particular series. Worth reading if you're attached to the charac ...more
Apr 28, 2011 Allan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, war
A good finale to the Ian Cormac series. A thoroughly fast-paced tale with the final showdown with rogue AI Erebus and its Jain-enhanced army. The puzzling entity that is Dragon is also pursuing its own agenda and Mr. Crane is finally pushed too far. In the middle of all of this is Ian Cormac, a "man" with new abilities...maybe, he's still not sure.
Another in the Cormac series, read more for my completionist agenda than anything. Where I enjoyed the new concepts in The Skinner and Gridlinked this title was just more of the same from the rest of the series.
Gareth Park
Jan 05, 2014 Gareth Park rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
was good, was a bit too large in scale for periods, missed out all the cormac action with his tenkian blade
Rory (Nightwyrm)
Sep 21, 2013 Rory (Nightwyrm) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A hard series to describe. Definitely quite slow at the start, but picked up to a decent pace by the end.
May 21, 2017 Darren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this one has five stars. To get the best out of the books, you should read the whole series. In fact, you probably need to read the whole series. If you want the answers to the questions left hanging as you read the previous books, then this is where you'll find them. It's because all the loose ends are tied up that this one gets the big 5.

Neal Asher has created a believable future, with 'science fiction' that feels like 'science fact'. This is hardcore sci-fi. AI, Aliens and irascible war
Dec 07, 2016 Senzanom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty satisfying conclusion to the Agent Cormac series, part of the larger Polity Universe. The story wraps up a lot of larger arcs while revealing a lot about the society and structure of the AI-run society, and tying off some loose ends from prior books.

I can't say the story was as dynamic as some of the prior novels, but then, this was the end.
Mar 09, 2017 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the last book in this series weaker, tho I appreciate endings are difficult.
Feb 18, 2017 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only one more book to go.

Often during the reviews of this series I cite how timeline is a terrible distraction. The Pregnancy that has gone on forever is now finally over. How a second problem that the author thinks is a triumph is the short vignettes of everyone's story. That still plagues us.

How as a political treatise we have a meglomaniac ruling earth without a checks and balance system. Still the Chairman gets away with terrible horrors and no one stops him.
Mar 26, 2015 Lady*M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
4.5 stars

The human/AI Polity had spread through numerous stellar systems. When it's attacked by Erebus, an AI melded with lethal Jain technology, collateral damage numbers in millions. But, the attacks make no sense and it seems the Polity is on the defensive. It will take all that our protagonists have to save the human civilization.

Orlandine, a haiman (human/AI meld) with the control over Jain technology, Mr Crane and Vulture, Mika and Dragon, AIs Jerusalem and King of Hearts, many others and,
Sep 26, 2013 Lauri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tõsine lõpetus kogu Ian Cormaci või ka Polity - tsüklile. Lõpetus küll, kuid Asher pöördub veel tagasi samasse maailma Cormaci - sarja hiljem kirjutatud proloogi "The Shadow of the Scorpion kujul.
Kõik või vähemalt enamus saladusi saab lahenduse. Erebuse rünnak Polityle, Jaini-tehnoloogia päritolu, ajalugu ja tulevik, gabbleduck'ide nukker ajalugu, Mr. Crane, Cormaci tasapisi ilmnema hakanud võimed, nagu näiteks võime gridlinkida ilma gridlinki omamata või siis oskus ise siseneda ja reisida U-spa
Brian Matthews
Feb 15, 2017 Brian Matthews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of a fantastic series, and a fitting denouement. Numerous surprises, many awesome battles (I bet you thought (view spoiler) was as impressive as it gets), and things wrapped up quite well, while leaving some nice openings, because life (evolved, artificial, and "other") goes on.
Clay Brown
Grand Master of Science Fiction Neal Asher ends his Line War Agent Cormac Books with this one...Ian Cormac in Addition to The Insane Brass Robot Crane, AI Humanity Destroyer Erebus and last but certainly not least Jain Infected Orlandine all are in this last Adventure of noted Military Science Fiction Master Asher's last Hurrah here ... The book is along the lines of most Asher Fictions with Dragon on the loose with Medic Mica looking into the Jain Origins of Tralfalger/Erebus coming Way Short o ...more
Feb 15, 2010 Malquiviades rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
So, finally an end of the Cormac's saga?

I hope so. If this is so, it has come as a relieved to me. For the last books of the saga it has used up most of the originality and most of the possibility of surprising you with something new as it repeats itself once and again. Besides, I have been enjoying much more those parts of the story where Cormac does not appear.

About the story... well it is not bad as it closes many of the open points left unresolved in the previous books. And also it gives yo
Aug 06, 2016 astaliegurec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neal Asher's "Line War" (2008) is currently the 7th book in his "Polity Universe" series and the 5th book (and last (again, currently)) in his "Agent Cormac" sub-series. In this book, he brings to rest (mostly) the balls he threw up in the air in the previous book and left hanging there. Once again, if you've read the previous books in the series, you pretty much know what to expect here: a nicely thought out universe with a good story, characters, and action. There are two areas that bother me, ...more
Oct 20, 2016 Olabiyi rated it really liked it
I didn't see that coming!

What an amazing denouement to the Ian Cormac series. Who would have guessed that the axe would come back to strike the initiator? It has been a gripping rollercoaster ride of a novel. I don't normally go for syfy (yeah, I know I spelt it 'differently'), but this has been an incredible insight into the possibilities of human and technological evolution that no other author has been able to describe quite so vividly. I couldn't put the book down till it was done. Oddly eno
Dec 08, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful almost the whole way through. The scenes with Azroc on Jerusalem I could have done without, mostly, but the rest of the book is lovely. It started off slow, but the slow start gave the action a nice build to where stuff blows up. Because it wouldn't be an Ian Cormac book without stuff going out with an almighty bang. And then, just for some balance, there's a bit of creepy, quiet death and really old bodies, floating silently in their envirosuits through the cold dark vacuum...shudder ...more
Nerine Dorman
Okay, this is not a story that I'd willingly pick up but I'm reviewing it for one of the dailies, so I gave it a good shot. As a friend of mine told me, "Think Pirates of the Caribbean" set in space...and so long as I shoved my brain into neutral, I went along for the ride.

Plenty of big explosions and super-violence... and some memorable characters, like Orlandine and Mr Crane... and the not-so-cute but huggable Arach... but I couldn't help but feel that the characters were somehow dragged along
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The Line of Polity: Line War - finished/spoilers 1 1 Jul 24, 2016 10:20AM  
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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
More about Neal Asher...

Other Books in the Series

Agent Cormac (5 books)
  • Gridlinked (Agent Cormac #1, Polity Universe #3)
  • The Line Of Polity (Agent Cormac, #2)
  • Brass Man (Agent Cormac, #3)
  • Polity Agent (Agent Cormac, #4)

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“A sudden jolt lifted his chair right into the air, and he saw that the floor below him had flipped up like a tin lid. All data through the hand interface cut out, then came an enormous shudder as the great ship again surfaced into the real. ‘Jerusalem?’ After a long pause the AI replied over intercom, ‘My phasic modular B folderol.’ ‘Is it really?’ Azroc enquired. ‘Ipso facto total bellish.’ ‘Yes, mine is too.’ ‘Repairing.’ Static hissed from the intercom, then came a sound suspiciously like someone kicking a piece of malfunctioning hardware. ‘OK. Better.” 0 likes
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