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Brass Man by Neal Asher
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577517,144 (3.94)17
  1. 01
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: A much better incarnation of secret agents, inscrutable artificial intelligences and the manipulation of whole societies in an SF novel.

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Showing 5 of 5
First book of the series I've read and believe that was to my detriment as too many story lines going and hopped too quick from one to the next. ( )
  skraft001 | May 10, 2014 |
This is a sequel to "Gridlinked", and a good one, but since one of the main characters is a psychotic killer robot and another is a kind of superman secret agent, there are lots of people killed in particularly gory ways. Several times, I wondered why so many gruesome deaths were needed...but I'd still recommend it with that caveat. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
I understand what the other reviewers have said and to a certain extent agree, however the imagination involved in writing this book is great and regardless of certain aspects, the bottom line is it is a great read, holds your attention to the end (as long as you get through the middle) and the characters are fantastic. I have book 4 and 5 to read, will review the series in more detail after reading them. ( )
  jltott | May 17, 2010 |
The cover blurb and the first few pages of Brass Man piqued my interest and gave me high expectations. Instead, over the course of the next almost 300 pages I often found myself about ready to give it up. By that last 200 or so pages the story of a sociopathic killer robot, machinations of ruling AIs, alien dragons, primitive dragon slayers, government agents, rogue AIs, resurrected killers, and a random assortment of minor characters turned in to enough of an action chase scene to at least keep my interest.

The story concerns Mr. Crane, a Golem (robot) and the Brass Man of the title, that has been turned into a sociopathic killer with a literally shattered mind. Except that it takes probably half the novel to find that out. Eventually you realize that he is on some sort of inexplicable quest to pull his "self" back together and become his own again. Except that how that is managed doesn't make much sense, and by the time it happens, I didn't much care.

It also concerns an inscrutable alien intelligence/partial-collective-being called Dragon that is manipulating things on an up-until-now lost and isolated human world where it is hiding from the rest of humanity and from some alien McGuffin technology called "Jain fibers". And maybe Dragon reaches some kind of truce or salvation, but again by then I didn't care.

And those Jain fibers control or are controlled by a super-criminal who exists to be, well, a super criminal. And to abuse the Brass Man even more.

Who is hunted by Ian Cormac, an agent for the Artificial Intelligences that run everything. Who have deep secret plans of their own for the betterment of all. Or something. The actual role of the AIs is never clear, and Cormac simply runs around after the bad guys, rather like James Bond, but with slightly less motivation.

Oh, and then there is the ship AI named "Jack Ketch" with a fascination for the machinery and mechanisms of execution. Who turns out to be just another super-agent type with no particular motivation or ultimate relevance.

Actually any one of these sub-plots would probably have made a decent adventure story by themselves, but all together and at 485 pages, they just turn in to a mess. Asher doesn't help matters by elaborately justifying a re-definition of a scientific title 358 pages in, just so he can start to use it to refer to the bad guy for no apparent reason. Or using abbreviations that are either undefined, or so obscure as to be meaningless.

I think Asher was enthralled by Ian Banks and the complexity of the motivations of the ships and people of Special Circumstances. I think he tried to create something of that same depth and grandeur, and unfortunately weighed his own perfectly good space-opera down with so much baggage it collapses under its own weight. ( )
  grizzly.anderson | Aug 5, 2008 |
These Asher books are pretty good rock-em-sock-em exotic space opera. I need to go back and re-read his ouevre and decide how much of it I want to collect.
  wfzimmerman | Jun 7, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Asherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rawlings, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765317311, Paperback)

From the Philip K. Dick Award nominee author of Cowl, an adrenaline-powered new SF adventure: Brass Man. Neal Asher returns to his trademark Polity future setting, in a sequel to Gridlinked, which SFRevu.com called  "brilliant and audacious work, chock-full of cutting-edge ideas."
Ian Cormac, a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of  a wealthy future, is hunting an interstellar dragon, little knowing that, far away, his competition has resurrected an horrific killing machine named "Mr. Crane" to assist in a similar hunt, ecompassing whole star systems. Mr. Crane, the insane indestructible artificial man now in a new metal body, seeks to escape a bloody past he can neither forget nor truly remember. And he is on a collision course with Ian Cormac.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

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"Ian Cormac, a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future, is hunting an interstellar dragon, little knowing that, far away, his competition has resurrected an horrific killing machine named "Mr. Crane" to assist in a similar hunt, ecompassing whole star systems. Mr. Crane, the insane indestructible artificial man now in a new metal body, seeks to escape a bloody past he can neither forget nor truly remember. And he is on a collision course with Ian Cormac."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Average: (3.94)
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