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Summary

The Departure is the first audiobook in Neal Asher's near-future, science fiction Owner series.

The Argus Space Station looks down on a nightmarish Earth. And from this safe distance, the Committee enforces its despotic rule. There are too many people and too few resources, and they need 12 billion to die before Earth can be stabilized. So corruption is rife, people starve, and the poor are policed by mechanized overseers and identity-reader guns. Citizens already fear the brutal Inspectorate with its pain inducers. But to reach its goals, the Committee will unleash satellite laser weaponry, taking carnage to a new level.

This is the world Alan Saul wakes to, travelling in a crate destined for the Calais incinerator. How he got there he doesn't know, but he remembers pain and his tormentor's face. He also has company: Janus, a rogue intelligence inhabiting forbidden hardware in his skull. As Janus shows Saul an Earth stripped of hope, he resolves to annihilate the Committee and their regime. Once he's discovered who he was, and killed his interrogator....

©2017 Neal Asher (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A story of two halves

I really enjoyed the start of the book. It jumps right in at the deep end and has you asking questions. The ‘world’ reminded me of P.F.Hamilton’s Mindstar trilogy with a little bit of Orwell’s 1984 thrown in. It’s a real page-turner for the first 50%, maybe even 60/70%, but then the focus shifts to a more virtual world. It’s hard to say more without spoilers, so I won’t. I just found the last 40% a bit meh. Especially after enjoying the start so much. Saul starts off as an interesting character with a lot of questions he’s trying to answer, but ends up as a bit of a dullard :) There are two more books in the series. I would normally go straight onto the 2nd, but it didn’t grab me enough. I might return but won’t be upset if I don’t. Great narration.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent trilogy of quality writing and narration

I have just finished the whole trilogy in about 10 days. It's been a while since I had a story as well written and as well narrated as this was. And having said that, I'm not going to pick holes in either as some reviewers do. I just enjoyed the concept, the continuity, the characters and the excellent narration. Best sifi writing I have experienced in a long time. Thanks.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Very Good Scifi!

I'm always on the look out for excellent scifi and was very pleased with this one. Good concepts, characters and plot progression. Will be purchasing rest of series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Asher tells a good story

Neal Asher's tales are sometimes those of freedom seeking libertarians fighting against socialist societies that have gone bad. Think Venezuela on a global scale. He sees totalitarianism as the inevitable consequence of any attempt to create a fair, just and equitable society. His resolution is nearly always a hero fighting against all the odds, occasionally dispensing cod political philosophy and using extreme violence to sort out the bad guys. That's his thing and I really don't mind, despite the obvious propaganda, because he tells a good story. I just wish he'd drop the moral philosophising, because he's not too good at that. Action heroes are usually not very PC, but constantly harping on about socialists bad/freedom good is wearing and not terribly believable. It's also a false dichotomy. Maybe being rich enough to buy your freedom is an ideal to aspire to, but in reality it's only attainable by a select few. I'll probably buy a few more of his books, because I enjoy the action hero stuff, but he can shove his political diatribes where the sun don't shine.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not heard of this author before

I bought this as an audible deal of the day and did not know what to expect. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not used to the "series" style of books, so need to find the next book to listen to. However not sure it's available.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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slow start, but ends well

This was a bit of an odd one. I didn't know the author and almost gave up after first couple of chapters as the story seemed confused, but the more I listened, the more I enjoyed it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book.

I found this well read.very believable. Even possible would recommend this. I am looking for more form the same narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable start to the series

Well performed start to a bleak dystopian future, think 1984 meets Cyberpunk. Do wonder why he didn't just knock up some rail guns on the station though would have saved a lot of bother.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Somewhat different Asher than Polity

Lot of death and oppressive goverment this and that in these series, but books are surprising and enjoyable to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Terence P
  • WORCESTER, Worcestershire
  • 06-05-18

Great story, well read

Really good story, very well read by the narrator. My only complaint is it was a little too quiet in comparison to other audio books I have listened to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful