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Infinity Engine

(Transformation #3)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,481 ratings  ·  138 reviews

On the cusp of a black hole, the future of the Polity hangs in the balance.

Several forces are now pursuing the rogue AI Penny Royal, and the Brockle is the most dangerous of all. This criminal swarm-robot AI has escaped its confinement and is upgrading itself, becoming ever more powerful in anticipation of a deadly showdown.

Events escalate aboard Factory Station Room 101,

Kindle Edition, 576 pages
Published March 23rd 2017 by Pan (first published March 21st 2017)
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Victor Asher just posted a snip of this to soundcloud. Looks like it may not have been finished. (Just a theory based on two data points) Turns out audible.c…moreAsher just posted a snip of this to soundcloud. Looks like it may not have been finished. (Just a theory based on two data points) Turns out has it listed for release back in May 2017 and it's still flagged for pre-order as of September 2017 while the colonial side of the Amazon behemoth has no listing at all.(less)
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Oh my god. Or, I should say, Penny Royal. :)

I've been steadily raving about Asher's novels more and more because they just keep getting BETTER and BETTER. This Transformation trilogy has got to be my absolute favorite.

Actually, the whole weaving of all these threads from book one to the end was so thoroughly SATISFYING that I may just start raving about it to non-specialized high-tech space-opera fans and just start pulling in normal SF fans to point and say... "Just look at this trilogy, skip
Mark Medina
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mind bending brilliant sci-fi.

A great finish to a superb trilogy. All the strings and plots that have been setup previously by Penny Royal are all brought together. Alien tech, mad AI's, galactic politics, time travel paradoxes and human players all combine for a great climax. Bravo, Neal Asher.
Jamie Rich
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Infinity Engine (Transformation, #3) by Neal Asher

ZOMG! Neal Asher takes us to the very edge of space and time in the conclusion to his Transformation series. Let me tell you what, I think I need a cardiologist after reading this book! It was nonstop, pulled no punches, took no quarter, and held no prisoners!
This is a thick book, but with all of the many subplots involved, it had to be. If you have read the first two books, then you understand why. When you drop a rider into the Polity universe,
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few inadequate words on the numinous Infinity Engine by the luminous @nealasher

Weiter, weiter ins verderben. Wir müssen leben bis wir sterben. --Rammstein
My first Neal Asher story was Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck (Asimov's August 2005). Then came The Gabble (Asimov's, March 2006). I was fascinated and intrigued by the wonder and mystery of the Gabbleducks and everything about them. I'd been reading science fiction for forty years; so fascinating and intriguing me was no mean feat. Alien Archae
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2017-read
Read full review over at Worlds in Ink

It has all the hallmarks of what you have come to expect of a Neal Asher novel with a far more intimate look at the characters. A brilliantly woven story with huge implications for the future of the Polity.
Chris Berko
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most satisfying endings to a series I've ever read. Every story line is logically concluded, and the way
characters and ideas from other books are used is nothing short of amazing. To me this is the best stuff Mr. Asher has put out, read it if you are not adverse to having fun.
Bryan Brown
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci_fi
Well I liked it but I think I mostly liked it because it wrapped up about 80% of the questions I had come up with through the transformation series. The roughly 20% of questions maybe I supposed to be non-answered. I don't know.

This book involved the Weaver and like when he was introduced in The Technician (I tried to do the insert book/author link but it doesn't work for me, maybe it hates the Edge browser. I don't know. Go look it up...that was a fun book) he is super extra duty enigmatic be
Sam From the Square Groot
I am a huge fan of Neal Asher. However.............

This is the conclusion of his recent trilogy, and it certainly delivers in most areas. But there elements in this book that do not do it for me. It is no spoiler to say that most, if not all of this trilogy is all controlled by one, or two very powerful, intelligent entities, and that everything you read IS part of some huge, massive, intricate plan. Because of this it took me out of the story. When you know that every decision that someone take
Tim Hicks
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Four stars, bumped to five for the sheer ambition and audacity of the plot.

This book caps the Transformation series, but also rewards readers of ALL the other books. It's even got Old Captains and an Atheter, and passing references to things we first read decades ago.

If we removed all references to hardfields and printer-bots, this book might be 50 pages shorter, but that's the pseudo-science game, and gosh, Asher is a complete master of it. Things that start out as remotely plausible under wh
Michel Meijer
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Science: great. Aliens: fantastic. World building and back story: terrific. Protagonist: hrm...donno.

The hidden puppet is behind everything: Penny Royal, the black AI that dominates the story from the back. It is a hidden force that moves everything into action on its chess board. The problem for me with that (albeit incredibly origional and intriguing) that I could not identify to someone or something that gives stuff purpose and to root for as Asher chose to not have reader- Penny Royal intera
Pavlo Tverdokhlib
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-sci-fi
The conniving Black AI Penny Royal continues its manipulations of the diverse cast across the Polity and the Prador Kingdom. However, the forensic AI, the Brockle, driven by a belief that Penny Royal must be stopped at all costs goes rogue, breaks out of its confinement and goes on a rampage on its own-since any casualties are acceptable coolateral as long as Penny Royal's plans are thwarted.

Tossed in between this is the familiar cast- Thorvald Spear, the assassin drone Riss, Trent Sobel, Capta
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Been reading Neal Asher for a long time and enjoying the ride. I'm rather fond of the kind of straight up Sci-Fi that is his forte. He's completely convincing in the way he populates his inter-galactic sagas with wild science, alien beings and the civilizations they've established, and crusty bitter humans who have been around and seen it all. Sometimes it's hard to keep all the characters and story lines together, as he often writes trilogies, so things can get pretty deep, but you'll never lea ...more
Scott Steves
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Asher continues to amaze.

This is probably the tenth book I've read if his and they are all increasingly good. I honestly couldn't have thought of a better way to end this series, while continuing the story line of the universe he has created.
Steven Werber
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good. A bit of a weird ending but solid sci-fi!!
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
In science fiction, movies, and books, there is a great though short history of evil and/or mad computers. We often fear what we depend on, and the more we depend on computers, my guess is that we will see more narratives of their malevolence. My first was Colossus: The Forbin Project. The movie and the book inspired me and set a background for interest in maddest computer in then contemporary culture: HAL 9000 of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Neal Asher's recent hardcover release, completing his Tran
Seregil of Rhiminee
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Before I begin to analyse and review this novel, I'll mention that I hadn't read much fiction by Neal Asher prior to reading this novel. It took a bit of time for me to get used to the author's complex and well-created Polity universe, because I had to do research about the previous novels and their happenings, but boy, am I glad I took the opportunity to acquaint myself with them, because the Polity universe is simply amazing!

I admit that this reading experi
Clay Brown
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nowhere near as good as the first book in the Transformation Trilogy, Dark Intelligence was by far the best book I've read of Asher and I've about read every one of them. His next Trilogy about the Jain ought to be interesting. I hope he doesn't include the Prador, they are essentially Cannibals and not worthy of mention. Asher should and could get even more deep... hope he doesn't fall for the sensibilities and weaknesses of his Culture! Rock on Asher!
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
The finale to Asher’s Transformations trilogy focusing on Penny Royal and all its devious plans and machinations. Honestly, I hoped for something a little more from this book, but it ticked all the boxes and tied off the story very nicely.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewer's Note: This is part 3 of the Transformation series, preceded by Dark Intelligence and War Factory. This review will not be mindful of spoilers from those books. The spoiler-free review is that this novel could almost stand on its own as it's fairly contained within its own starfaring story for being the third chapter in a trilogy.

Following immediately after the events of the showdown at Room 101, Infinity Engine still follows Penny Royal's pawns as it moves towards its end game. While
Mike Franklin
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
One of the problems I have when writing my thoughts on books is the common complaint that we only ever notice things when they go wrong never when they go right. In the same way I generally notice and can easily identify all the things I hate in a book but I never notice what it is that makes a book excellent. And maybe that’s the point, because when a book is excellent I just read it; I’m completely absorbed in the story and with no blunders to pull me out I simply don’t notice what has kept me ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book concludes the Transformation trilogy, and I read it mostly because I wanted some kind of closure, and really hoped that this final book in the trilogy will make me like the previous two books more. It didn't.

The strong side of the trilogy is interesting world-building, somewhat unconventional set-up, some suspense and mystery. Unfortunately, by the time I was reading the third book, some things irked me more and more, and I couldn't enjoy it:

1. Strange editing: Author has a peculiar h
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neal Asher's "Infinity Engine: Transformation Book Three" finishes up the "Transformation" sub-series of his over-arching "Polity" series. Because he writes these things out of order, if you happen to see any of my earlier reviews, that means the numbering I used there will now be incorrect. As of today, by the overall series' internal timeline, this is now the 11th book in the series (the "Transformation" trilogy falls after "The Technician (A Novel of Polity)" and before the "Spatterjay" trilo ...more
Fred P
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Neal Asher's writing. It's powerful, emotional, and vivid. In this rapid-fire conclusion to the Dark Intelligence series, Asher ties together the narrative lines of the series with a confrontation on the edge of a black hole. Longtime favorite characters Thorvald Spear, Captain Blite and S'verl find themselves caught up in a fight between two expanded artificial intelligences in a race for a real singularity. What part can a human play in this epic drama? The answers might lie in the revi ...more
Nia Sinjorina
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So in my review of the first novel on the Transformation series I questioned whether Neal Asher's writing was to my style and, more importantly, belonged in the same pantheon as Iain M Banks and Peter Hamilton. In the second novel I definitely warmed to his style and his craft - speaking of my delight at the increasing depth of characterisation, plot, and universe.

Infinity Engine, the final novel of the trilogy, has blown me away. What a story! What a ending! What a rollercoaster ride of  twists
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate that this is different and very science-y sci-if. It is certainly a fitting end to this particular series, written with typical Asher depth and elegance - probably the best and most eloquent sci-fi writer out there that I know of.

Where is failed, for me personally at least, was the unusual complexity. My ageing mind had a hard time keeping up - "mind bending" certainly fits. With so little time to read anyway, this is a very tough bedtime read, with only minimal glimpses of Asher's
Randal Revay
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just when I thought Ashers Polity universe couldn't get any better I read Infinity Engine. The scaling up of technology really blew me away and the character development across all three books is simply amazing. Most importantly it was a fitting end to my favorite Polity series. ( Honestly, they are all so good making this choice is really really hard)
I can't get enough of Asher's writing and after stumbling across the Agent Cormac series last year I have devoured every single one of his books,
Sebastian Mordziol
This was very hard to put down. I am still amazed at how well Mr Asher weaves his stories together - I was kept guessing right to the end, without any part ever getting tedious or boring. I love it when all the parallel plotlines slowly come together, and seeing events from the many available perspectives was real fun.

One big plus was that these momentous events all managed to come to a head without any more of the main characters having to die. In fact, the book manages to tie off virtually al
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it and I thought it was a fitting conclusion to a great trilogy. I only withheld the fifth star because I personally could not follow the ultimate resolution of the story. I'm sure that's just me and if someone is more familiar with theories of the mechanics of black holes it would make perfect sense, but I'm not and therefore it didn't, so it took some of the enjoyment from this series. Still, I really enjoyed all of the characters, even Penny Royal, who is a character always r ...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

Other books in the series

Transformation (3 books)
  • Dark Intelligence (Transformation, #1)
  • War Factory (Transformation #2)

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