I just finished reading Orbus, by Neal Asher.
Orbus is the third Spatterjay novel, although none if this takes place on that planet. Orbus is an Old Captain, a long time infectee of the Spatterjay virus, which turns biological creatures into super tough, effectively immortal creatures. The longer you have been infected, the tougher you are, and Orbus has been infected for a very long time. He has to be careful around normal people, shaking hands alone is fraught with danger.
But then, there's also a Prador, Vrell who was more recently infected by the virus, but Prador are inherently tough, being huge alien crab-like creatures.
The story takes us quickly into the no-mans land between the Human Polity and the Prador Kingdom, where the warships of each side are not permitted, and the rest of the novel is one long violent spatterfest. Brilliant, and thoroughly enjoyable violence, mostly involving the spattering of giant crabs, but the Polity war-drone Sniper also takes a massive beating.
New technology originating from the Jain, and further fleshing out of Prador politics and history adds interest and deeper flavour than the spatterfest would suggest, and the pace of events leaves you constantly turning pages.
This is now my favourite Spatterjay novel, even over the excellent The Skinner.
Playing with Buck Converters
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