Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: Gridlinked
Series: Polity: Agent Cormac #1
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 433
Format: Kindle Digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Ian Cormac has been gridlinked for 30 years where 20 years is supposed to be the maximum. Ian’s effectiveness in the service of Earth’s AI is what caused the continued link. Recently though, Ian has started exhibiting signs of gridlink addiction, an inability to interact with other humans and unable to think for himself.

When a planetwide accident happens on the remote world of Samarkand and an extraterrestial alien known as Dragon reappears, Earth Central sends in Agent Cormac. However, the AI always has games within games within games and having unplugged Ian, allows his enemies to know where he is going. Why solve 1 problem when you can solve 5?

 

My Thoughts

Another home run of a read.  Having read Asher starting in 2010, with this book and continuing on his Polity series, it was good to re-read this and see how his writing has been polished up. Make no mistake, this was rough writing; not bad, but without some of the polish you see in later books.

If I had to choose one word to describe this all, Ultra-violence would be that word. Entrails, brain matter, dismembered limbs, broken, burst, or burnt body parts, alien flesh or fluid spattered across the landscape. Guns, garrottes, bombs, knives, lasers, bare hands [or golem hands as the case may be], alien teeth, cars, spaceships, all are used as weapons. It is phracking awesome!

This is a novel, and series, about Humanity and Post Humanity. If a human can live for 200 years, upload his mind to a golem body if he so chooses all the while living in a society run by A.I.’s of godlike intelligence, what kind of society will emerge? Asher doesn’t get sidetracked from his story to show us the nitty-gritty but we do get little peeks here and there. And those little glimpses are fascinating.

To the plotmobile! Space-gates connect planets. One explodes and destroys a worlds’ population. Ian must investigate and figure out what is going on. At the same time, some of Ian’s old enemies are tracking him down to kill him. Add in an alien and my goodness, you have so many chainsaws in the air that any guess might kill you if wrong.

The whole idea of aug’s and messing around with your mind to expand it intrigues me to no end. The idea of A.I.’s ruling humanity in the background while letting humanity grow mentally is also fascinating. Of course,the whole thing is predicated on the idea that something better can come from something lesser. A machine intelligence that is greater than humanity and without humanity’s flaws. Great idea, but I can’t buy it for real and so it kicks me out of the story occasionally.

Overall, I loved this book, was just as intrigued this time around as I was in ’10, loved the violence, love the mystery of the plot and am looking forward to the rest of the series. These rereads have been good so far and so I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let’s see if I can put that off for a bit, shall we?

Here’s some alternate covers, because some of these are just plain awesome. I’m usually not a big fan of putting pictures into reviews, but in this case, I feel some of these represent the book better than the cover here, especially the last one.

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18 thoughts on “Gridlinked (Polity: Agent Cormac #1)

  1. I’ve only read one Neal Asher book, but really it was more of a collection of related short stories from his Polity world. so one day I’d like to try more of his work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The amount of blood and gore gives me pause – I’m not exactly squeamish, but from your review it would seem there is a LOT of it…
    Maybe the bugs are a better option! 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christy Luis says:

    Those covers are awesome! I have the same problem with the sentient-AI thing, too, but the trope can still make for a great story. It’s fiction, I can dig it, haha. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. oh wow it does sound phracking awesome!! Really interested in reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. HCNewton says:

    Hmmm, intriguing… That’s 2 in the last week that youve sold me on. I’m it sure I have that kind of time, man. You need to throw up a couple of “meh” books for my sake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nathan says:

    I have a friend who insists I should read Asher and I keep meaning too; he calls him the Abercrombie of Sci-Fi only with more of a backlog for me to dig through. I gotta get on this…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I actually really like the first cover you put, right before the synopsis. Goodreads mentions “with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.” How much do you agree on the whole Ian Fleming part? Even if it ain’t much, I’m sold on your review of this book. It sounds like it has everything to assure an entertaining reading experience! Instantly added it to my TBR. Great review!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

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