Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Zero Point

I just finished reading Zero Point, Neal Asher's second in the Owner series.
And I thought the first novel in this series was hugely violent; I actually felt a little nauseous reading some of this. Zero Point takes the wasteful, corrupt, self-serving, brutal leadership of Earth's "Committee" and then completely frees it of restraint, balance, morals and restrictions. The result is a psychotic, damaged, paranoid, control-freak greenie leader who starts laying waste to the Zero Asset part of Earth's population. The results are truly horrible, and this is even before she tortures her father for two weeks straight.
The story is split between Mars, the Argus space station and Earth, and everyone is struggling to survive, obviously except the leader of Earth who has every luxury available and fawning minions trying not to be noticed. Alan Saul with others on the Argus further develops some interesting technology, the distributed brain/processing cubes and androids are very cool. I'm trying not to spoil too much of what develops, but there is certainly plenty to keep a constant interest in events.
I enjoyed most of the characters and their development, although I thought Hannah was a little flat and less interesting than in 'The Departure'. I enjoyed Var's struggle with leadership and responsibility on Mars.
I love Asher's chapter beginnings which all have a little bit of history which help tie this unreal Earth back to ours, and show us the path to this nightmare. A little bit of social and political commentary in there too.
Good stuff!

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