The Line of Polity (Polity: Agent Cormac #2) ★★★★☆


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Title:        The Line of Polity
Series:     Polity: Agent Cormac #2
Author:    Neal Asher
Rating:     4 of 5 Stars
Genre:      SF
Pages:      676
Format:    Digital Edition



A rogue scientist begins working for the Separatists that Cormac had a runin with in the previous book. Skellor, said rogue scientist, has discovered a stash of Jain technology. Jain tech is forbidden by the Polity and as the book goes on, we learn why. Cormac is sent out after Skellor before he can become catastrophically dangerous.

At the same time, a rebellion is brewing on the planet Masada. Under the control of rigid belief system that is against A.I. Rule, the theocrats have been in communication with the dragon. With predictable results. The Polity gets involved, the dragon gets pissed off and a lot of people are going to die.

When Skellor takes over the Masada system, it appears that things have indeed gone “Catastrophic”. With a whole planet to loot and play with, Skellor has grown into something beyond human and his abilities are just beginning. It is up to Agent Cormac to deal with Skellor, deal with the theocrats and deal with the offspring of the dead dragon: thousands or millions of dracomen.

Thankfully, Cormac is a Prime Agent indeed.


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this just as much as my previous read in ’10. I kept the 4star rating, instead of raising it, because it is evident that Asher is as much a fundamental zealot as I am, but his god is Science and he hates any other belief system. The main difference is that he writes books and interjects that zealotry into his books while I just interject my fundamentalism into small blog posts. So that might not even cross your radar at all.

This is what I like about Asher’s Polity books. Monstrous inhumanity preying upon everything. In later books we found out how terrifying Jain tech truly is. Whole stellar civilizations destroyed by it. Here we see it gaining a foothold in humanity’s playground. It might not be sentient, but it has a Directive. We are also introduced to some alien species, namely, Gabbleducks and Hooders. Gabbleducks roam the surface of Masada eating whatever and babbling words. Hooders eat everything, are impervious to most weaponry and eat their victims alive and by slowly dissecting them with a whole arsenal of claws, blades, etc.

Another thing I like about the Polity books is the exploration of the bounds of what it means to be alive. One character who died in the last book comes back as a golem, ie, a recording of the brainwaves put into a near-indestructable metal body. He thinks about what it means for him to have gone from human to golem and how that affects things. Even if I disagree with Asher’s conclusions, I am fascinated by the questions and how the questions even come about.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this and have no problems recommending this series to anyone looking for a bloody good time. Emphasis on bloody.



  1. Review of Book 1
  2. Previous 2010 Review

18 thoughts on “The Line of Polity (Polity: Agent Cormac #2) ★★★★☆

  1. So you have my interest, but now where would I start? I pulled these up on GR and found this.. “Gridlinked (Agent Cormac #1, Polity Universe #3)”. Can I start here or would I jump back to Prador Moon (Polity Universe #1? A little confused haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Start with Gridlinked. Read the whole Agent Cormac series [5 books], then I’d read the Spatterjay trilogy. By that time you’ll be familiar enough with the Polity to read what you want 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, hold onto your hat …… I actually ordered Dark Intelligence from the library. Of course, I couldn’t find book #1 of this series …. they only have about 6 books total — no complete series and often completely out of order. Terrible. In any case, a first step ….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If your library has Prador Moon, read that before DI. It’ll help explain a lot about the Prador [giant intelligent space faring crabs] and a prador first-son is a main character in DI…


    1. Cormac is the smoothest transition to understand the Polity universe. It is a 5 book commitment though. If you want something a little less “introduction’y” and more bloody action, try his Spatterjay trilogy. The first book there is: The Skinner.

      Liked by 1 person

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