Shadow of the Scorpion
Shadow of the Scorpion is a standalone prequel to Neal Asher’s explosive Agent Cormac series.
Some secrets are too hard to bear . . .
Following the human vs prador war, Ian Cormac signs up with Earth Central Security. He’s sent out to restore order on worlds devastated by alien bombardment. But he learns humanity can be far more dangerous – even those closest to him.
Amidst the tragic ruins left by wartime atrocities, Cormac discovers in himself the cold capacity for violence. It’s a quality that’ll make him one of Earth’s top agents. Haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone, and the burden of losses he doesn’t remember, he’ll discover some hard truths. These will set him on a course of vengeance, where he’ll have to use all his hard-won skills just to stay alive.
The Shadow of the Scorpion skillfully combines graphic action and sensitive characterisation and is Asher's most accomplished novel to date.
A powerhouse cocktail of lurid violence, evocative world-building and typically grotesque monsters, but it’s amazing how much emotion he’s also layered into what could have been a simplistic SF potboiler. Asking difficult questions while still delivering plenty of full-tilt adventure and widescreen action, this is top-notch stuff from an author well and truly at the top of his game.
Ian Cormac is, it seems, here to stay in the collective consciousness of sci-fi literature… Thoroughly enjoyable stuff.