Susanne's Reviews > The Voyage of the Sable Keech

The Voyage of the Sable Keech by Neal Asher
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Jan 17, 12

bookshelves: sff
Read in January, 2012

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 alongside the main plot, this time round every chapter starts with an entry from an encyclopedia on the planet's wildlife - which might be interesting to first-time visitors, but to me, it wasn't new, and therefore a bit...boring.

The Good
Yay for the Old Captains. Asher doesn't waste many words to describe them or build up their characters, but the thing is, he doesn't have to. By their actions, they rule the very pages they're on. Brilliant.

The Bad
Taylor Bloc. Is. Boring. Booooooring. Zzzzzzzz BORING! Seriously, I couldn't care less for the guy, and whatever he wants or doesn't want or how he'd get it or what, he's just annoying. In an un-enaging and, I think, unintentional, way. Boring. Shame, really.

The Sad
In fact, now that I think about it, the whole book is a bit...slow. Nothing happens for ages, while we are treated to detailed descriptions of how Vrell rebuilds his ship. Taylor Bloc just annoys everyone. The "mystery" surrounding Isis Wade and Zephyr is never intriguing enough, and the giant-whelk subplot, while initially amusing, just seemed like page filler in the end.

There's no real pay-off at the end, everything just peters out and even the "twist" (if John Styx was meant to be one) wasn't at all surprising, and basically, the entire voyage of the Sable Keech was a HUGE WASTE OF TIME. For everyone involved.

The Skinner is so amazing. This one...isn't.
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