The Warship (Polity: Rise of the Jain #2) ★★★★☆

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Title: The Warship
Series: Polity: Rise of the Jain #2
Author: Neal Asher
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 350
Words: 138K


Cobbled Together from Various Places

Orlandine has destroyed the alien Jain super-soldier by deploying an actual black hole. And now that same weapon hoovers up clouds of lethal Jain technology, swarming within the deadly accretion disc’s event horizon. All seems just as she planned. Yet behind her back, forces incite rebellion on her home world, planning her assassination.

Earth Central, humanity’s ruling intelligence, knows Orlandine was tricked into releasing her weapon, and fears the Jain are behind it. The prador king knows this too – and both foes gather fleets of warships to surround the disc.

The alien Client is returning to the accretion disc to save the last of her kind, buried on a ship deep within it. She upgrades her vast weapons platform in preparation, and she’ll need it. Her nemesis also waits within the disc’s swirling dusts – and the Jain have committed genocide before.

When the Clade, a swarm AI, assassinates multiple nodes of Orlandine’s consciousness, the Polity and the bellicose alien Prador Kingdom are alarmed and send armadas to the Jaskoran system. On Jaskor, Clade units cause further mayhem as they employ war and assassin drones to battle the no-longer-human (but still sympathetic) Captain Trike, who’s been overcome and made monstrous by the Spatterjay virus. Meanwhile, in the vicinity of the accretion disc, something mysterious is emerging from Underspace, and the Polity fears it’s a Jain ship.

In the end, Orlandine survives, the Jaskoran system is declared a 3rd party “empire” by both Polity and AI, Trike embraces his Spatterjay/Jain transformation, the Clade are dead and a fully deranged Jain Warship has escaped into the galaxy.

My Thoughts:

So, here is what I am finding with Asher’s books. I enjoy them pretty well on the first read through. It doesn’t really wow me or leaving me desperately wanting to read the next one but I enjoy it immensely and don’t feel cheated in any way, ie, time or money. However, any re-reads seem to get me past a barrier and I REALLY enjoy the books. Weird huh?

That was just a roundabout way of saying that this book was pretty good and I enjoyed it, but not as much as my previous Polity reads. In fact, my enjoyment of this new trilogy is following the exact same footprint as when I read the Transformation trilogy (which dealt with the black AI Penny Royal). I fully expect to enjoy it more the next time I do a Polity re-read.

One thing I am really liking about this trilogy is the inclusion of Spatterjay Hooper Old Captains and Prador. This time around, we also get a Prador vessel that is akin in size and power to the Cable Hogue, a legendary Polity vessel that has appeared in earlier books. We get to see a lot more how the spatterjay virus has and is changing the Prador leadership and making them into beings able to at least work with the Polity. I would not be surprised if in later books the Polity and Prador became a united Entity against an outside threat.

I also enjoyed Orlandine’s downfall. Asher does a great job of showing that a fallible being doesn’t stop having blindspots just because they are/become more intelligent. But at the same time, her fall doesn’t destroy her. It was good to see her pick the pieces back up and start fighting again.


31 thoughts on “The Warship (Polity: Rise of the Jain #2) ★★★★☆

    1. As much as you mock, you’re actually not far off. A lot of the tech in the Polity universe has gone along biological lines, so while I don’t remember any exploding octopi, I’m sure there were drones or some other such machines that looked like one. And given the rate of destruction, I’m sure some of them exploded 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am liking the Spatterjay aspect more than anything. I thought Orlandine was done way back in the Cormac series, so now I’m wondering what other characters Asher might base a new series on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “However, any re-reads seem to get me past a barrier and I REALLY enjoy the books. Weird huh?”…naw not weird at all. Has happened to me in the past quite a few times with a number of books😀
    This is definitely my kind of science fiction, that is for sure. Never read anything by this author, but I’ll keep a look out. Oh…the cover looks amazing by the way! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gridlinked is his debut novel and starts the Polity universe. It’s rough, to be expected for a first book, but it gives you the first of 5 books in the Agent Cormac series. If you enjoy that series, then we can go from there.


  2. Okay, I give in. This is the second time I have heard praise for these Polity novels. Added to the list! Thanks Ola G and Mr. Bookstooge. 😁 Hey, something slightly off-topic here, but exhalted one, do you ever notice anyone immediately liking every post that comes out of your blog – almost immediately – almost like they have a ‘like bot’ or something?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. re: spam likes.
      Oh yeah. It happens. I know a real person who does that who I think shows her support by ‘liking” posts whether she’s read them or not. But I’ve also had new followers like 10 posts in a row, where you know it is impossible to have read them all. Those kind of likes make me dismiss the person who just followed and make me lean toward not even checking out their site to see if their worth a follow back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Makes me even more than ever to read my copy of Gridlinked with each new Asher review popping up from you and Ola. 😀 Glad to see these rereads work so well for you though. Is The Human (Rise of the Jain #3) a new release that you haven’t read yet or a rerelease that you are going to reread? 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear you’re getting book bullets from Ola too. Asher seems to have a solid fan base, but I’ve never run into any of them. It’s rather odd.

      The Human is his latest book and I’m about to start it this weekend. That will be my last Asher book until he finishes up another trilogy. So the last book for a couple of years anyway :-/

      Liked by 1 person

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