The book is filled with a cast of engaging characters, both human and AI. Cormac’s adjustment to life without access to the AI grid, without all the information he could ever want, is convincingly portrayed. The moments when he has to ask other people about themselves and realises how much he has forgotten about making a connection are poignant and well-handled.
The dialogue is crisp. The pacing is good; it’s a 125,000 word novel and it packs much more in than you’d think. The twin strands of the plot are balanced nicely and even right at the end the possibility that everything will go horribly wrong is strong.
There are points when Cormac is talked about by other characters and we learn that he is somewhat legendary. Yet he comes across as a relatable character. He’s not legendary in his own mind and he doesn’t have the disrespectful arrogance of James Bond.
I really enjoyed this. I’ve bought another one and I’m looking forward to reading it. If you haven’t read Neal Asher before, I’d recommend him.