Alan Saul is now part-human and part-machine, and our solar system isn't big enough to hold him. He craves the stars, but can't leave yet. His sister Var is trapped on Mars, on the wrong side of a rebellion, and Saul's human side won't let her die. He must leave Argus Station to stage a dangerous rescue - but mutiny is brewing onboard, as Saul's robots make his crew feel increasingly redundant. Serene Galahad will do anything to prevent Saul's escape. Earth’s ruthless dictator hides her crimes from a cowed populace as she readies new warships for pursuit. She aims to crush her enemy in a terrifying display of interstellar violence. Meanwhile, The Scourge limps back to Earth, its crew slaughtered, its mission to annihilate Saul a disaster. There are survivors, but while one seeks Galahad's death, Clay Ruger will negotiate for his life. Events build to a climax as Ruger holds humanity’s greatest prize - seeds to rebuild a dying Earth. This stolen gene-bank data will come at a price, but what will Galahad pay for humanity’s future?
©2014 Neal Asher (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Jupiter War is Neal Asher final volume of his Owner Trilogy. At the end of book 2, Saul was heading to Mars to rescue his sister after having defeated the Scourge which is limping home with a minimal crew consisting of those who had removed their ID chips. At the same time, he is continuing his evolution to a form beyond human that even he is struggling to understand. Serene Galahad still has Saul in her sights as she slowly works to rebuild Earth which is in a more capable and productive position with much of the population eliminated. As Serene continues to expand her totalitarian rule of Earth, she is driven by a vengeance towards Saul which drives technological development, while at the same time, a desire to return Earth to a more pure and pristine state, free of humanity. Both Saul and Serene must also deal with loyal and not so loyal opposition to their reigns.
The sci-fi elements are more of the same as the Alcubierre faster than light drive technology is further exploited by both sides. Robotics play an ever increasing role with a level of sophistication through simplification. Ultimately this is a tale of one man's struggles to evolve beyond human. While Saul doesn't know where he's going, he knows remaining in the solar system is not viable. Along the way, Asher juxtaposes Saul with the various female leads (Hanna, Var, Serene, & the Saberhagan twins) to contrast the various iterations of being human which he finds wanting and limiting in the end. The proctors also evolve into a group of apostle-like followers that Saul can relate to better than humans.
The narration is wonderfully superb making this a can't put down listen. The pace, tone, and mood are perfectly rendered for effortless enjoyment.
I enjoyed the series all the way through and the ending didn't disappoint. This particular book went by fast, the plot having great comedic relief and awe. Character join the listing and leave as relationships wax and wane all ending in a filing conclusion. I'm usually the type to enjoy on going series as i grow attached to characters but this series didn't disappoint in the small span. Definitively a recommended read in my mind.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
In this trilogy-capper, true to the title, when the characters aren’t engaged in life-and-death battles, they’re gearing up for such fights. Somehow the defeated tyrannical forces of the previous installments have regrouped enough to once again pose an existential threat to the unbeatable anti-hero, Alan Saul- ‘The Owner’. His overpowered infallibility is paired with an increased detachment from human-scale relationships in this novel, so Asher has wisely spread the burden of the POV protagonist flag to other, more relatable characters. Another welcome development is that a few of the previously antagonistic ‘villains’ undergo some transformation and serve more redeemed roles. The story structure is a fairly straightforward build-up to inevitable conflict, although there’s some clever tactical twists that are rewarding to watch unfold. The only theme I identified was a continuation from the rest of the series: violent revenge will visit the guilty.
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