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Jack Four af Neal L. Asher
Indlæser...

Jack Four (udgave 2021)

af Neal L. Asher (Forfatter)

Serier: Polity Universe (21)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
925295,982 (3.9)3
Jack Four, one of twenty human clones, has been created to be sold. His purchaser is the alien prador king, who wants to expend him in combat. But there is something different about Jack. No clone should possess the knowledge that's been loaded into his mind. And no normal citizen of humanity's Polity worlds would have this information. The prador's king has been mutated by the Spatterjay virus into a creature even more monstrous than the prador themselves. And his children, the King's Guard, have undergone similar changes. They were infected by the virus during the last humans-versus-prador war, now lapsed into an uneasy truce. But the prador are always looking for new weapons - and their experimentation program might give them the edge they seek. Suzeal trades human slaves out of the Stratogaster Space Station, re-engineering them to serve the prador. She thinks the rewards are worth the risks, but all that is about to change. The Station was once a zoo, containing monsters from across known space. All the monsters now dwell on the planet below, but they aren't as contained as they seem. And a vengeful clone may be the worst danger of all.… (mere)
Medlem:LutherNow
Titel:Jack Four
Forfattere:Neal L. Asher (Forfatter)
Info:Night Shade Books (2021), 353 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, Favoritter
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Jack Four af Neal Asher

Ingen
Indlæser...

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» Se også 3 omtaler

Viser 5 af 5
I'm a little hard-pressed to decide what I can say about this novel, partly because I'm not sure what I can say about Asher's work that hasn't been said, partly because I'm not interested in giving away any spoilers. At the very baseline though, this is a view of life at the very bottom of the food chain in Asher's galactic civilization, as this time he's writing about the fate of human slaves in this reality, and it's just as nasty and gross as one can imagine; the existential opposite from "cozy." That's probably the point; that there are millions of people living shit existences in our own world, a number that is ever expanding, and rubbing that reality in, might be the thematic back story here. In the end, I liked this novel, but this is not the place to begin if you're coming fresh to Asher; the "Transformation" trilogy might be a good starting place for the total newbie. ( )
  Shrike58 | May 8, 2024 |
I was very careful about this book. Initial reviews I saw where talking about too bloody and gory story and knowing authors rather visual way of story-telling I did not find it too unbelievable. And since I am not much of a fan of explicit eviscerations and blood slashing I was torn between reading this book and skipping.

What a mistake would be if I skipped this novel.

First, book has decent share of blood but it is not anything that was not already seen in Asher's other novels. He manages to show even most upsetting thralling process in a very controlled manner, almost surgical. So book was not that extraordinary gory, as a matter of fact level of gore is same as in other Polity books.

Second, story is sort of an hommage to adventure space stories of old. In a same way as Sean Danker's Admiral we follow our hero as he tries to figure out his way out of deadly Prador warship and then trying to find way to anywhere but Prador space. As we follow everything from his perspective we are shown wonders of the Graveyard area, contested territory between Polity and Prador, place where various mercenary groups do most disgusting things to their kind and where very strange and potent biological weapons roam free.

The way our hero fights to survive, way he uses his knowledge and not once finda himself in quite a predicament, these are all elements of the good adventure story. Our hero, while trying to figure out who he is and how does he know things he knows, will soon recognize in himself sympathy, empathy and humanity, even in situations where it is not clear outright if that is the path he should take. Even Prador are shown here as above the usual cutthroats - Spatterjay infected Prador especially. I truly wander where this storyline will lead in follow up novels.

Also this one is rather localized story, everything takes place around Stratogaster space station in Graveyard area and follows handful of characters. And while some might find this as a too small of an area for Polity novel I have to say that author uses this to create more detailed story of survival in alien environment and constant fight against the vultures and true monsters of all species (and no, I do not mean hooders).

Very intresting book, with different story structure than usual Asher's work. More localized, more... Intimate you might say with all actors being more connected and fighting for and against greater odds than expected - it is obvious fates of the stellar empires are in question. Cannot wait for the follow up books.

Highly recommended. ( )
  Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
kind of a standard-issue Neal Asher novel, trafficking with an already well-trodden future of Hobbesian delight, emphasis on the nasty, brutish, and short. pretty sure he's just kind of going through the motions here, repeating himself - this is okay of its kind, but i like it when he aims higher with his very alien planetfalls and very alien aliens and post-humans too. just a matter of taste, but i get more invested when he writes wildly imaginative exchanges with very alien gabbleducks, for instance; unfortunately the pace of this one doesn't lend itself to dialogue, much less dialectics. ( )
  macha | Feb 11, 2022 |
Asher, Neal. Jack Four. Tor, 2021.
Neal Asher’s Jack Four is billed as a stand-alone novel set in Asher’s Polity universe, but a reader would profit by knowing something about Polity agents, the alien prador, and the Spatterjay virus. The Polity universe is a sprawling galactic civilization that puts Asher in the company of Ian M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Peter F. Hamilton, but this novel, like its predecessor Spatterjay, is more in the tradition of Harry Harrison’s Deathworld and movies like Predator and Alien than it is like a Reynolds space opera. Jack Four is a human clone sold as a slave to the prador king, who engages in gory genetic engineering, and who himself has been infected by the Spatterjay virus, an organism that puts the selfish in Richard Dawkins’ idea of the selfish gene. Jack is supposed to be a mindless meat puppet, but he seems to have some gradually emerging memory engrams from the original Jack, who was probably a Polity agent. He escapes from the prador station to the nearby planet that has become a dumping ground for the most vicious genetically engineered animals from around the galaxy, many of them have been toughened up with the Spatterjay virus. From that point on, the story is a survival quest adventure as Jack gradually regains his original’s skills and memories he will need to survive in the wilderness. Because this is a Polity story, there are wheels within wheels and other characters who, like Jack, are not what they seem. The action is nonstop and vividly bloody. 4 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Sep 7, 2021 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Jack Four
Series: Polity #21
Authors: Neal Asher
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 334
Words: 139K

Synopsis:

From the Inside Cover

Created to die – determined to live . . .

Jack Four – one of twenty human clones – has been created to be sold. His purchasers are the alien prador and they only want him for their experimentation program. But there is something different about Jack. No clone should possess the knowledge that’s been loaded into his mind. And no normal citizen of humanity’s Polity worlds would have this information.

The prador’s king has been mutated by the Spatterjay virus into a creature even more monstrous than the prador themselves. And his children, the King’s Guard, have undergone similar changes. They were infected by the virus during the last humans-versus-prador war, now lapsed into an uneasy truce. But the prador are always looking for new weapons – and their experimentation program might give them the edge they seek.

Suzeal trades human slaves out of the Stratogaster Space Station, re-engineering them to serve the prador. She thinks the rewards are worth the risks, but all that is about to change. The Station was once a zoo, containing monsters from across known space. All the monsters now dwell on the planet below, but they aren’t as contained as they seem. And a vengeful clone may be the worst danger of all.

My Thoughts:

Asher has never been shy about biological functions in his stories, what with jain tech invading like a cancer or the spatterjay turning someones tongue into a leech that wants to eat you to giant crabs mating. But in this book he seems to have an obsession with poop and the main character, Jack Four, is constantly voiding his bowels and Asher lets us know about it more than is necessary. Maybe Asher was having issues of his own and so it was on his mind? I don't know but if you do read this book, be prepared for bowel voiding like it is some sort of contest, hahahaha!

In this story, Asher brings most of his most dangerous creations (Jay Hoop level of hoopers, hooders and other monsters from his various books) altogether and has a prador scientist messing around with them trying to make them even more dangerous. The biggest scary was the prador trying to re-weaponize the hooders as war machines and thralled under prador control. It is scary as all get out but also immensely satisfying when the hooders overcome the thralling and turn on everybody.

It is pretty obvious (at least to me) who Jack Four was based on once you meet the template early on. I was wracking my brains to see if we'd been introduced to any Jacks who were ECS agents in earlier books but there my mind fails. I could probably go find some sort of Polity character list but I don't care THAT much.

By the end of the book I was exhausted. This felt like it was a non-stop ultra violent sprint. From Jack Four's awakening to the very end, the pace is relentless and Jack is on the run. With the runs a lot of the time (if you know what I mean) BA DUM TISH!

While I am pretty sure this is supposed to be a standalone Polity story, it is possible that this will turn into a trilogy. I hope it doesn't though. Asher is pretty good about telling one book stories and this is just fine the way it is.

★★★★☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 21, 2021 |
Viser 5 af 5
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Jack Four, one of twenty human clones, has been created to be sold. His purchaser is the alien prador king, who wants to expend him in combat. But there is something different about Jack. No clone should possess the knowledge that's been loaded into his mind. And no normal citizen of humanity's Polity worlds would have this information. The prador's king has been mutated by the Spatterjay virus into a creature even more monstrous than the prador themselves. And his children, the King's Guard, have undergone similar changes. They were infected by the virus during the last humans-versus-prador war, now lapsed into an uneasy truce. But the prador are always looking for new weapons - and their experimentation program might give them the edge they seek. Suzeal trades human slaves out of the Stratogaster Space Station, re-engineering them to serve the prador. She thinks the rewards are worth the risks, but all that is about to change. The Station was once a zoo, containing monsters from across known space. All the monsters now dwell on the planet below, but they aren't as contained as they seem. And a vengeful clone may be the worst danger of all.

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