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The Line Of Polity

(Agent Cormac #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  6,286 ratings  ·  180 reviews

Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium, and the very nature of this sabotage suggests that the alien bioconstruct Dragon - a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic - is somehow involved. Sent out on a titanic Polity dreadnought, the Occam Razor, agent Cormac must investigate the disaster.

Meanwhile, on the remote planet Masada, the long-term rebe

Kindle Edition, Reprints edition, 676 pages
Published August 21st 2009 by Tor (first published March 2003)
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Kostas In chronological order, yes. GR, however, always lists series in publication order first.
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,286 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Asher is acceleration, getting better, faster and wittier and taking a place right next to the behemoths of Sci-Fi, especially space opera.

It´s how the old ideas are carved to new forms, how they are mixed, combined and confronted with each other and how much is condensed in this amazing novel.

And the man is funny, probably just Banks, Scalzi, Hamilton, and some authors mix quick laughs with cool, pointy wit and badass comments and deeper humor, build on the perfectly constructed scenes, plotlin
Dirk Grobbelaar
Short Review vs Long Review

- Gabbleduck quote

(very) Short review

This book (and the Polity series so far) is friggin’ awesome, read it! The end.

(fairly) Long review

The Outlink stations were poised on the surface of the sometimes expanding and sometimes contracting sphere of the Human Polity. They marked the line beyond which AI governance and Polity law no longer applied. Most of this sphere’s border lay in intergalactic space, but on the edge of it facing towards the
I'm really impressed by what Neal Asher has done with the series. I've read a few of his other novels by now but this one, even more than Prador Moon, captured my imagination best. Gridlinked had some good moments, but Line of Polity, overall, is the superior read.

First thing I noticed was how deep and detailed the worldbuilding was. I loved the whole mixture of the Theocracy, all the huge amounts of biotech and symbiotes that allowed the benighted locals live on the planet, and the idea that th
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Crazy-big Weapons! Crazy-big tech! Crazy-big aliens! Crazy-big aliens fighting in a war that is not small!

Loosen your belt and brace yourself for a big meal from page one - The Line of Polity is supersize-me SF, with a dump-truck bucket of giant-warship fries and an Olympic swimming pool-sized alien-threat coke.

And - like the tastiest burger binge - you can’t help but keep going at it until every last bite is gone. I was up into the small hours with this book - I couldn’t resist one more page, o
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
4 Stars

This is a wildly frenetic, imaginative, and non stop pseudo hard science fiction action novel. I confess, that this type of sci fi is a guilty pleasure of mine, and as a result my review will probably be a bit biased.

This is the second Cormac novel, and also the second Neal Asher novel that I have read. It does not quite live up to the level of Gridlinked, as their is much less character development in this one. This book is extremely imaginative, in both the science involved, and the cre
Stevie Kincade
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
(4.5 stars) Neal Asher is so damn good at action based Science Fiction. His Polity universe is an interesting take on AI controlled future where things are good enough that there is no real threat of uprising while at the same time people are aware the fate of humanity now rests with machine governance. He has familiar and excellent tech, novel weapons but his real strength is alien characters and alien biology.

The prequel to the polity series Prador Moon is my all time favourite action SF, an a
Mr. Windup Bird
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Sci-Fi not-so-secret agent Ian Cormac is back for more great fun in Neal Asher's "Polity" universe.

Neal is one of those authors that has really captured the essence of what I enjoy about Sci-Fi / Action Adventure books. Putting fun spins on some of my favorite sci-fi tropes (I don't consider tropes a bad thing by default), while not seeming overly derivative. At this point I'm very invested in the Polity universe, and moving right on to Brass Man. Or should I sleep? Ok, Brass Man to
I did not do this book the justice it deserved in the amount of time I was able to focus on it. It was definitely a good book and a good storyline, and I plan on continuing the series for sure.
4.5 stars. Excellent sequel to the amazing Gridlinked and the second book in the Ian Cormac series. Set in the far future where an extremely advanced group of AIs "directs" (i.e., controls) most of the thousand worlds colonized by humans known as "The Polity." Most people are content but there is a large (and growing) movement of "separatists" that resent AI control and desire to govern themselves. Add to this a mysterious god-like alien bio-construct known only as "Dragon" and the remnants of a ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've got an idea for an Agent Ian Cormac novel. Let's introduce some super-powerful alien thing millions of years beyond our technology that presents an existential threat to humanity. It can putter around for 400-600 pages and then Agent Ian Cormac can (view spoiler).

Have you ever read epic fantasy or sci-fi, where the author sets up many seemingly independent characters and plot-lines that seem to just effortlessly merge and collide towards a final crescendo. This bo
Stephen Robert Collins
In 2003 this was my Top Crime Book of the year, although this is a sfx by technology blinding mind boom of information its so, so, much more than just a Polity but brilliant crime mystery
This was my first Asher but not my last, although this a sequal to a others I found it didn't really matter.
Luke Burrage
All done! It dragged a bit in the middle, but there wasn't a moment where I thought I wouldn't finish it. And here's the thing with all these Neal Asher novels: I always have way fonder memories of reading them than I feel when I finish them. Like, why did I give The Voyage of the Sable Keech only 3 stars? It's way better than 3 stars! Right? I guess I just forgot the middle part in that book that also dragged, and just remember the good bits.

Which is why, when finishing this, I thought "3.5" bu
Kara Babcock
Hi! Remember me? I’m that guy who drops into one of your favourite series without reading the first book, writes a lukewarm review, and then leaves! Because why should I have any sense of continuity or context before I go on about how the book was “confusing” or “didn’t explain any of its basic concepts??

Actually, I’m not that guy. It’s true I didn’t read Gridlinked, and while I’m wishing I had, it’s not because I found The Line of Polity hard to grok. Rather, I enjoyed this book so much I’m thi
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium and the very nature of this sabotage suggests that the alien bioconstruct Dragon - a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic - is somehow involved.

The second Cormac book in the series takes us to a whole new level of 'other' entities. As you can see from the description above it is all a tad out there.
Whilst I did enjoy this one, it didn't grip me as much as book one, but I still would say that it was a throughly good read. We didn
Nicholas Karpuk
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In summary, this book sounds really similar to Gridlinked, the first Ian Cormac book. I noticed the blurb for the book after I'd already purchased it, and I had this fear that every book would end up being the same deal, with Cormac having to foil Dragon's newest wacky scheme, while an extremist group tries to hunt him down, and it all ending with Dragon howling, "I'll get you next time, Cormac! Next tiiiiiiime!"

Fortunately, it changes up the formula in some decent ways, and manages to improve o
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed this selection for several reasons: the story moved right along, with neither a huge amount of description, unnecessary background building, or grandiose space-physics explanations; the characters were predominantly interesting; the chapter beginnings, where a woman was reading to her child, were quite humorous; and the world Masada was a delight to read about.

Items I didn't care for: even though this was the protagonists vengeance against Cormac, Cormac really wasn't the main story.
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: britishsci-fi
A bit long and complicated, but eminently readable, as is typical of Neal Asher.

Well, it makes a lot more sense now having read Prador Moon. I like how Asher doesn't talk down to his audience -- you either know what he's talking about or just go along for the ride. When you read them in order, you see a larger story arc emerging as well. Adding a star because things make more sense when you read them in order.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable and cliched plot? Check.
Mentally-challenged, mustache-twirling villains? Check.
Boring two-dimensional characters? Check.
Bloated plot with irrelevant filler material? Check.
Detailed descriptions of 'cool' stuff that serves little purpose outside of being 'cool'? Check.

Worth my time? Nope.

This was my third and last Neal Asher novel. I'd rather read something that doesn't feel like a complete waste of time.
Eoin Flynn
Much like with the preceding book, I'm frustrated by goodreads' 5 star system.

This book is a solid 3.5. Better than 60%, not good enough for 80%.

Not going to win any Pulitzers or Bookers but like the other Asher books I've read it was thoroughly entertaining, action packed escapism. I didn't want to put it down.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2011-read
I really loved this. It has everything a science fiction fan would want and more! It's action packed and I really like Neal Asher's writing style.

Full review here
Brandon Wei
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Latta
The second book in Neal Asher's "Agent Cormac" series is a marked improvement over the earlier "Gridlinked", with a lot more world building and the kind of multithreaded plot lines that are the hallmarks of his books. Unfortunately, another hallmark of his work, atrocious dialogue is there as well. I'm not sure whether his word choices are intentional in that he's trying to create a "Polity" manner of speaking or if it's an excessively "proper British" English that he learned to write, but eithe ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
4.5 stars

This is, so far, the best Polity book I have read. Though it is part of the Agent Cormac series, Cormac himself is not featured as heavily as in the previous two books, but is just one of the main characters.

I feel that this is the first time Asher has a complete grip on his world and world-building as the stories of different characters (some of which we have met in Asher's previous books) converge on the planet Masada, ruled by the vicious Theocracy. The genius separatist scientist me
Michael Cummings
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a certain ineffable quality to Neal Asher's books. They are first and formost high tech, far future adventure stories. The rare scenes of an idyllic worldscape are usually shattered in moments by explosions, nanomanipulating alien technology, or the occasional AI trying to make the world a safer place. Line of Polity carries that burden well. Following shortly after the events of Gridlinked, Line of Polity continues to follow Ian Cormac, along with a small cast of characters working wit ...more
Jamie Revell
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I greatly enjoyed the first of Neal Asher's "Ian Cormac" books, and this, the second, is, if anything, an improvement. Cormac himself doesn't feature quite so much in this one, although he's still a major presence. But we also have a wider cast of supporting characters getting their moment in the spotlight in a plot concerning a religious dictatorship and a madman with access to planet-destroying technology. It's more explicitly military than the first novel, and manages to explore some differen ...more
Jim Mcclanahan
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second of the Ian Cormac novels, this one was replete with much of what I have come to expect of the author, lots of action, incredibly creepy and horrifying native fauna and a thoroughly satisfying space opera. Interesting characters. As usual, one of my favorites was the old cyborg, Fethan. Nobody's fool, he played a pivotal role in much of the twists and turns of events. Much like Sniper the ancient war drone in the Spatterjay series. The villains in the piece, Skellor the "mad scientist" ...more
Gregg Kellogg
A useful follow to Gridlinked, but two-dimensional comic-bookish. I was pretty impressed with Dark Intelligence, and wanted the Polity backstory, but this just doesn't satisfy. I'll probably continue reading more, as I do find the universe interesting, and post-Iain M. Banks, it's quite enjoyable. Hopefully, later books will show Asher's growing experience better. ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aliens, technology, vast space ships, warfare and politics - this belongs in the guilty pleasure category for me. This is my second Asher novel I think - and while I enjoy the pacy action, multiple plot lines, impossibly cool gadgets and mind-bending extraterrestrial phenomena, it isn't quite up to Iain Banks' genius. In particular, the cast of thousands becomes very difficult to keep track of, and the technologies and concepts are sometimes introduced with little explanation or reminder. And I ...more
Karl Ljungberg
Ian Cormac is boring. He was boring in Gridlinked and he's boring now. In fact, he may very well be even more boring now than he was then. He's not even slightly relatable, way too perfect and too much of an asshole to be enjoyable in any functional way. Every time he speaks, I want to punch him. Every time he does something, I want him to fail just so I can stand over him and gloat.
Funnily enough, I think even Asher realized that cause Cormac is barely in this damn book. He disappears for huge
David Bobb
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comprised of several POVs that converge over time it takes place on a world ruled by a religious faction called the theocracy where life is dirt cheap for those who are under their boot. The mysterious destruction of a space station and appearance of dragon (a massive and powerful alien entity). A galactic dreadnought battleship capable of incinerating entire planets. A villain who has merged with an ancient and vastly powerful AI. A team of mercenaries. And Ian Cormack himself.

It's a bit 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

Agent Cormac (5 books)
  • Gridlinked (Agent Cormac #1, Polity Universe #3)
  • Brass Man (Agent Cormac, #3)
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