Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Prador Moon

Title: Prador Moon
Author: Neal Asher
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9780330471268
Series: Polity #1
Publisher: Tor
Published: 2008
Genre: Science Fiction / Space Opera

Buy it from:
The Book Depository

The Polity Collective stretches from Earth Central into the unfathomable reaches of the galactic void. But when the Polity finally encounters alien life in the form of massive, hostile crablike carnivores known as the Prador, there can be only one outcome - total warfare.

Chaos reigns as, caught unawares, the Polity struggles to regain its foothold and transition itself into a military society. Starships clash, planets fall, and space stations are overrun. But for Jebel Krong and Moria Salem, trapped at the center of the action, this war is far more than a mere clash of cultures, far more than technology versus brute force. This war is personal.
One sunny day in 2008 I was perusing the donated book section of my small local library in search of some science fiction to read. I had already exhausted all the offerings in their normal collection so almost anything would do. Squeezed in amongst the stacks was this little book called Prador Moon by someone called Neal Asher. The cover looked science-fictiony enough so I grabbed it and headed for the checkout counter without even reading the blurb.

That ‘little’ book simply blew me away. I was astounded at the scope and complexity of the futuristic world crammed into just 222 pages and I loved every minute of the action-packed bloody encounters between the Polity and the Prador. Four years later I found myself in dire need of some ‘bloody mayhem’ to take my mind off things and Prador Moon was the first book that came to mind.

Revisiting old favorites can sometimes be a huge disappointment since they never quite seem to live up to that experience of first discovery. I’m glad to say that after all those years Prador Moon still managed to enthrall and thoroughly entertain me. All the elements that hooked me the first time round are still there and just as effective as when I first read it.

What drew me to the story was the technology and ideas at play. The AI controlled society of the Polity, the monstrous crab-like Prador with a penchant for human flesh, the war drones and golems, human-bonded spaceships, fantastically destructive weaponry and the flawed human characters all come together to tell one heck of a story about inter-species conflict on a truly vast scale.

The verdict:
Prador Moon was my first introduction to Neal Asher’s work and made me a lifelong fan. The premise might seem somewhat over the top and simplistic at first glance. Yes, nasty aliens attacking humanity has been done countless times before, but what sets Prador Moon apart is how that simple premise is morphed into something much more complex by bringing some very interesting concepts together.

Prador Moon packs a vicious punch. If you are looking for a fast-paced, action-packed read and you aren’t afraid of blood and gore then this should satisfy nicely. Highly recommended. Now let’s go make some crab cakes!

The Rating: 7/10 (Very Good)