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Gridlinked by Neal Asher
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1,289279,250 (3.69)45

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Gridlinked was the first full length Sci Fi book I've read in roughly 4 years. I had forgotten how much you really need to slow down, and absorb the world you're being immersed in. While it took me a little longer to read than I expected, this book definitely reminded me of why I miss Sci Fi in all of its gorgeous, complex glory.

The Polity universe is a thing of beauty. A world rich with myths, legends, and the type of technology that makes you wish you lived there. It took me a bit to firmly seat myself inside this world. I loved the little intros at the beginning of each chapter, pulling background information from books that Polity inhabitants had written. I appreciated the fact that Neal Asher never felt the need for infodumps. There was never a point where I felt buried under information necessary for me to understand the story. Instead, it was laid out slowly and intentionally. While that meant it took me a little longer to settle, it also meant I never wanted to stop reading.

On to Ian Cormac, our main character and a thoroughly fascinating person. Hands down, Cormac was my favorite part of this story. His background was rich, and he felt like a real person to me. Following along as he dealt with his addiction to being gridlinked, watching as he had to relearn how to read social cues, it made him a person I could get behind. Best of all, every other character in this first story was just as detailed. These were characters I could love, or loathe, as the story dictated.

So why the three star rating? Mainly, it's me not the book. I'll admit that there were a few grammatical errors that drove me a little batty, but mainly this is just me getting comfortable with the vast space that is Sci Fi. That being said, those of you who already read this genre will likely love this series. One thing I do know? I'll be going on to the next book! The ending was perfect, but also prompted me to read more. That, is a beautiful thing. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
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


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. Sorry Librarything, you make it way to difficult to add pictures, so forget it. ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Feb 12, 2017 |
Well written, and for the avid scifi fan, not hard to follow the sciences" of the future.
I found the idea of an AI Meritocracy quite fascinating. Some primal part of me still shivers at the though of AI's being in control and seeing how it works out piqued my interested.
The raw amount of action was welcome. You didn't find characters waxing philosophical for pages and pages and pages. Maybe a paragraph or two? Quite handle-able. Looking forward to more of this series." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
I bought Gridlinked on the basis of someone’s recommendation and saw the book had a good online rating and was part of a highly rated series. It sounded good, kind of like a cyberpunk James Bond, so I bought the first three, fortunately at my used bookstore. I then started reading this first one. Initially, I tried to forge ahead, but I never quite seemed to get into it. It never sparked that much interest in me. I kept waiting for it to “get going.” “Legendary” ECS agent Ian Cormac has been hooked up to the information “grid” (thus “gridlinked”) for some 30 years now, which is 10 years too many, so the director of the agency has assigned him a high priority case and has unlinked him. Now he has a sadistic killer after him and he’s unable to even function without that little computer in his head. He’s truly pathetic. But, God, the story just kind of drags. Even when there’s action, it’s kind of predictable and it just drags. Sadistic killer kills. Oooh. Cormac screws up because he’s not gridlinked. Oh, didn’t see that coming. I don’t know, it just didn’t resonate with me. I dragged this book out while reading – and finishing – other books, hoping this book would catch fire with me and I think I’m giving up, now that I’m on page 316. I hate getting that far in a book and not finishing it, but I see no point in moving on. I have a feeling the rest of it is probably just as predictable as the first 315 pages. Or as boring. Take your pick. The thing that gets to me is, now I have two more books to read in the series. Do I dare? I probably should since I spent money on them, but are they going to be total wastes of time? I hope not. Maybe they’ll be better. I have noted that each additional book in the series keeps going up in their ratings, so that’s hopeful. In terms of my rating, man … I guess three stars. I would give it 2.5, but I guess I’ll round up. Not a great book, not trash. I usually recommend a book or don’t recommend a book. I’ll do neither in this case, which is rare for me. Sorry about that. Three stars, rounded up from 2.5. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jun 28, 2016 |
Kind of fun, a bit like Altered Carbon, the basic premise is that of an enhanced secret service agent helping to keep humanity safe (ish) against various threats.

Here our agent Ian Cormac, has been 'gridlinked; to an AI for over 30 years and has started to lose his own humanity, preferring the instantaneous information of 'online' over any real human interaction. When he almost fails a mission because of this the service head (immortal really?) "asks" him to remove the connection prior to going on his next mission. Why this is relevant is never explained. Ian investigates why one of the planetary ftl exchanges exploded. ,Meanwhile we gets lots of cutaways to the gang he just about managed to foil in the opening, who's surviving members are all sworn on revenge. These include a corrupted AI golem, who proves to be a fairly ferocious opponent.

I don't like cutaways to the evil geniuses revealing their plans to the reader, but not the hero. The technology was fine, and info-dumping kept to a minimum, but I was never thoroughly engrossed in the story or bonded with Ian that much. The alien is at least truly alien, in motives and action. I'm not sure how this helped the plot that much, as it all got a bit odd at the end - hopefully a sequel will clarify matters.

As a concept it worked quite well, but the execution remains a bit scratchy here and there. If there's any wider parallel to society in the sequels remains to be seen, I might try one, but because the universe is mostly interesting. ( )
  reading_fox | May 19, 2016 |
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To my family for keeping my feet on the ground while allowing my head to stay in the clouds. What a stretch.
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A blue snow was falling on the roof of the embarkation lounge, where it melted and snaked across the glass in inky rivulets.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765349051, Mass Market Paperback)

Gridlinked is a science fiction adventure in the classic, fast-paced, action-packed tradition of Harry Harrison and Poul Anderson, with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.

Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcibles" (matter transmitters controlled by AIs) allow interstellar travel in an eye blink throughout the settled worlds of the Polity. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has begun to drain away. He has to take the cold-turkey cure and shake his addiction to having his brain on the net.

Now he must do without just as he’s sent to investigate the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a thirty-megaton explosion. With the runcible out, Cormac must get there by ship, but he has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Arian Pelter, who now follows him across the galaxy with a terrifying psychotic killer android in tow. And deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded.

This is fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment, and a great introduction to the work of one of the most exciting new SF talents in years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:03 -0400)

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Thousands have been killed on Samarkand and a terraforming project has been destroyed. Cormac must reach it by ship to begin an investigation. But he has incurred the wrath of an evil psychopath called Peter, who follows him across the galaxy.

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