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Orbus (Spatterjay #3)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,926 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
This is a follow-up to The Voyage of the Sable Keech, tracing the journey of an Old Captain, Orbus - a sadist in charge of a crew of masochists - to a planetary wasteland called The Graveyard, lying between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom. An ancient war drone by the name of Sniper has stowed away aboard his spaceship, and the purpose of the journey is not entirely what ...more
Published (first published April 9th 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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May 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-scifi
I have to say that I am done with Spatterjay. This one tipped the balance where I no longer care about what happens in this story. It was all a bit too much. I feel like I read a story about one continuous long battle with high tech weaponry. It just didn't take a break and try to develop a story. It felt like it was a battle wrapped around some characters that were exactly the same as the previous books.
So that's me done with Spatterjay.
Chris Berko
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this one, maybe my favorite Spatterjay novel.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
3 Stars

Orbus, book three in the Spatterjay trilogy is a far fall from the wonders and sheer awesomeness of the first book. I confess that due to my love of the genre that this was more like a 4 star read to me that I get had to take away from my score because it does not compare to the start of the series. I absolutely loved books one and two with the first one being a knock out. The world of Spatterjay is a science fiction and technological dream. The Hoopers are one of the greatest fictional
Tim Hicks
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
First, you MUST have read the previous Spatterjay books. Looking back, it's amazing how far we travelled in just three books. It's hugely complicated.

Asher writes this one in present tense. At times it makes me feel I'm in his Dungeons & Dragons game. "Vrell attacks with a particle cannon." "You roll a 7. You are only slightly injured."

In mid-book, I get quite bored as Asher explores the permutations of mighty weapon X against awesome defence Y. But then the plot starts advancing again and
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Orbus, an Old Captain from Spatterjay, has left his sadistic ways after the near death experience and decided to change the climate. As a captain of the trade space ship he goes go Graveyard carrying with him the two drone stowaways. Soon, it becomes clear that they we all manipulated by ruling AIs, because the Prador runaway Vrell, mutated by Spatterjay virus has gone in the same direction. Both Prador king and the Polity take the interest in the situation as well as their weapons. The Spatterj ...more
Pippa Jay
Of all the Neal Asher books I've read so far, this is my favourite. The story is fast-paced and full of gloriously grim descriptions. The sardonic interplay between Old Captain Orbus and his disgustingly-named crewmate Drooble are hilarious, as is the strange relationship between the drones Sniper and Thirteen. And over it all looms the mutating Prador Vrell, being hunted by the Prador King and a mythical monster of Prador nightmares, the Golgoloth. Gripping, chilling and entertaining. Not recom ...more
Miki Habryn
Feb 15, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: default
More a three-and-a-half-star book. Asher shading into space opera, and doing so in somewhat undistinguished fashion. Lots of Prador history exposition, but with confused results, making them a little more human but inconsistently so. Similarly indeterminate humanization of Orbus himself, with a scattering of psychological vignettes but no real depth. Maybe not three-and-a-half after all.
Ben Hatfield
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way better than The Voyage of the Sable Keech, but not up to the level of The Skinner. Really this book is all about following some already established characters, but to say this book is a continuation of the first two books would be misleading. Instead of the wildly exotic Spatterjay environment, we follow an old ship captain, a mutated prador, and a war drone through their struggles in and around various space ships. Really this book is way more about the characters than the environment, wher ...more
Sinyuk Alexey
Didn't get why book called Orbus?!
Liked reading, but there are two problems that bothers me :
1) There is no any description of alien soldiers they fighting in the end. Faceless enemies, destroying everything. This makes no sense.
2) There are so many terms without any explanation of them
May 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Crossposted from:

With Orbus, the Spatterjay trilogy ends up so far from its thrilling beginning that this last book might as well be from a different series altogether. What made the original book so great was that it pitted fragile humans against horrible creatures on a planet full of freaks. Orbus, though, takes place entirely off that planet and removes the human element altogether. What's left are the horrible creatures, who are left to duke it out in
Brian Salyards
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Okay, what gives? I have thoroughly enjoyed the Spatterjay series. It's chock full of interesting ideas and characters. This third book selects a few of those characters (Capt. Orbus, Vrell, Sniper) and places them, not on Spatterjay, but in a protracted space battle that consumes the entirety of the book. It was exhausting. Rail gun this, particle beam that... Only my investment in these characters and the introduction of the Golgoloth kept me mildly interested. Literally, nothing I truly cared ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neal Asher's "Orbus" (2009) is currently the 13th novel in his "Polity Universe" series and the 3rd in his "Spatterjay" sub-series. Since I do have some negatives with this book, I'll start with the positive: the ending is very good and very satisfying. It's enough to mostly counteract the negatives. As to those, the smallest is that, for some reason, Asher decided to write the book in the present tense instead of the usual past tense ("He looks over, sees the monster, and decides to pop him on ...more
Feb 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbb-2010
Asher's The Skinner made me a fan with its gonzo neo-pulp adventures of immortal pirate captains, living sails, undead robot cops, and a lethal ecosystem where everything is eating everything else. Orbus is the third book in this series, and the shine has started to wear off a bit.

Firstly, the titular character Orbus, is one of the aforementioned pirate captains, and is a fairly interesting character, being a 'reformed' sadist. However, he's really only driving the action of the book for maybe
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to The Voyage of the Sable Keech, tracing the journey of an Old Captain, Orbus. Once a sadist in charge of a crew of masochists aboard the Vignette on Spatterjay but now a changed man, running cargo offworld and trying to put his past behind him.

Then there's Vrell, the offspring of the Prador Ebulan, now an adult and mutated by the Spatterjay virus into a much more dangerous foe. From hiding on the ocean floor in his father's dreadnought. he sees a chance of esca
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Sable Keech, and this sequel definitely did not disappoint. This is one of the finest trilogy-ending books I have read, and the only thing I disliked about the book was that it ended. The plot twists and turns like a twisty turny thing, the characters are well defined and all have their own conflicting motives and the action does not let up, from quite early in the piece. I am a sucker for alien biology and technology, and Neal Asher has come up with some of the most out-there, exciting ...more
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed the story, the writing nearly killed me. Why suddenly switch this series to present tense narrative? While I understand that present tense does help build suspense and tension and works well for fast-paced narratives, I think it works much better for short stories or, say, a dream sequence. 400+ pages of it was just plain annoying. While there was plenty of action in this book, there was also a whole lot of nothing going on at some points. In these cases, using the present tense ...more
The ending to the Prador/Spatterjay sequence within the larger Polity setting after the superb Skinner and the very good Voyage of the Sable Keech, Orbus is the first Neal Asher novel that was a big "meh" for me.

Not bad, but not exciting either, just a competent piece of space opera that lacks freshness and great characters; the trademark Asher stuff is there and for that and to see how the Pardor sequence ends the book is recommended, but I just got bored with the setting and Orbus notably lack
John R. Goyer
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm rating this one about 4.5 - Asher is simply a brilliant writer, and his stories and characters live in a very well represented universe that Asher created and filled with amazing physics and inventions. The start of the book was a bit difficult and I felt challenged to get the hang of the lingo and diverse aliens that are involved - well into it I realized i started with the 3rd of the Spatterjay series rather than the first, so that probably explains a bit of that. Extremely satisfying endi ...more
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Neal Asher's space opera blend of the gruesome and the sublime, biological monstrosities and hightech engineering and physics, vast-scale plots spreading over millions of years and personal journeys of redemption, so it will probably comes as no surprise that I liked this book.

This is the third novel in the Spatterjay sequence (Spatterjay, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, Orbus) and provides a satisfying batch of answers to issues and questions left unresolved and unanswered in the other tw
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. If The Skinner was about the Old Captains and The Voyage of Sable Keech was about re-ifs then this is about the Prador.
The action moves away from Spatterjay and into space following Orbus, Sniper and Thirteen as they investigate some strange dealings. Meanwhile, the Prador Vrell must come to terms with being infected with the virus and work out what to do now he has boarded another ship.
The Prador King and one of their myths put in an appearance, too. Then things really begin to hot
Robert Hill
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dirty Pleasures

We all should be reading nonfiction books on serious topics. Or at least gritty works of sober social realism that deepen our understanding of the human condition.
But for a good time, dial n-e-a-l-a-s-h-e-r. Sometimes, a guy (and I think these are 'guy' books) needs to get down to his bad self, and live the life of an old captain, an intergalactic 007, or a semi-reformed war drone, get out of the dull world of civilized adulthood, and kick some alien booty. I notice that as the y
Huw Evans
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The latest in the Spatterjay series that I have read and it is just as much fun as the others. Over the series Neal Asher has collected together some fascinating sci-fi ideas, some extraordinary protagonists, androids with attitude and increasingly scary villains. All of them have to combine to combat a threat more terrifying than each other, the Jain whose military memory and experience and is coded in their DNA. This is a breakneck read, terrifically written even if the ending is a little too ...more
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as strong as the first two, but that's like saying being hit by a bus has less impact than being hit by a lorry! Asher continues to broaden his brutally grim vision of the Spatterjay world, with some interesting evolutionary twists, creative means of blowing stuff up, blackly humorous dialogue and a sense of everything coming together in the nick of time....ALL the time!

When I have more free time I'm going to plug into more Neal Asher series, I suggest you get a hold of The Skinner ASA
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is classic page turning sci-fi from Neil Asher. Those who come to this book should be familiar with the Polity universe and the first two Splatterjay books. Asher wraps up the spaltterjay thread to his world here neatly enough and in his usual style. In fact for those who enjoy the massive scale high tech combat violence then this might be their favourite as its pretty much non stop. The flip side of this is that the characterisation - never Ashers' strong point - is even weaker here.

This w
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of mayhem, superscience, intriguing characters.

The Spatterjay virus has been a hard to credit, but continuing plot device in a long series of Asher's books. In this finale(?), actual explanations, still requiring a strong suspension of disbelief, are quite satisfying. Captain Orbus and the Prador Vrell make unlikely heroes.

I don't think this would be a good intro to unfamiliar readers, but the book does engage in narrative explanation of a great deal of backstory, without getting in the w
Daniel Gonçalves
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new book in Asher's Spatterjay series. This time around, we get a better look at Prador psychology and society. Escaping from Spatterjy, Vrell does his best to survive. Orbus, the sadistic Old Captain, now off planet, gets involved more than he bargained for. Overall a nice read, although it did feel a tad too short. I got the feeling that the importance and complexity of the events that played in the book required a more elaborated etup. Especially Orbus' psychological evolution throughout th ...more
Both the Spatterjay connection and even the title reference to captain Orbus, a minor character in the previous Spatterjay books, is really tangential, as Orbus remains a secondary character here. This is a book about Prador, a vicious alien sentient species, with the humans mostly as bystanders, and a resurgence of Asher's overused "diabolus ex-machina" Jain. Quite uninteresting unless you have read all the previous Polity books, and not even much interesting in that case. No sympathetic charac ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. Don't get me wrong, I love the entire Spatterjay series, but this book inspired some emotions in me, in quanties previously thought impossible. While the novel carries the name of an Old Captain, this book is really about the Prador and a young upstart named Vrell, infected with a supervirus. CRAB ON ROIDS. Oh my god, this book had adventure, terror, death defying escapes an epic starship battle and the kitchen sink. Definetly one to re ...more
Jeff Young
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the Spatterjay series picks up directly after the end of the Voyage of the Sable Keech. This book hits the ground running and accelerates wildly afterward. There are action sequences here that must have left Asher breathless after writing them. Insane, over the top space opera that thoroughly caught me up for a fantastic read. Asher pulled out all the stops on this one. This is a Spatterjay novel and potential readers will enjoy it more thoroughly by reading The Skinner and the ...more
Interesting characters, solid plot.

This book was harder for me to get into though. There was a lot of really technical, dry description which didn't keep my attention, and I found myself skimming instead of reading. Maybe because of this - but maybe not - some later details in the book didn't make sense or seem resolved. (Of course I didn't write them down right away so I forget what those details were.)
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The Line of Polity: Orbus - finished/spoilers 1 1 Jul 24, 2016 10:45AM  
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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)
  • The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay, #2)

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