Released on 12 April 2012.

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The Departure

3.81 based on 2518 ratings & 222 reviews on


The Departure is the first book in Neal Asher's near-future, science fiction Owner series.

The Argus Space Station looks down on a nightmarish Earth. And from this safe distance, the Committee enforces its despotic rule. There are too many people and too few resources, and they need twelve billion to die before Earth can be stabilized. So corruption is rife, people starve, and the poor are policed by mechanized overseers and identity-reader guns. Citizens already fear the brutal Inspectorate with its pain inducers. But to reach its goals, the Committee will unleash satellite laser weaponry, taking carnage to a new level.

This is the world Alan Saul wakes to, travelling in a crate destined for the Calais incinerator. How he got there he doesn’t know, but he remembers pain and his tormentor’s face. He also has company: Janus, a rogue intelligence inhabiting forbidden hardware in his skull. As Janus shows Saul an Earth stripped of hope, he resolves to annihilate the Committee and their regime. Once he’s discovered who he was, and killed his interrogator . . .

In the media

Fast, dramatic stuff . . . this is a book with lots of Asher trademarks: rapid pace, great action, messy consequences.
I had an absolute blast with this book . . . his work really does get better and better.
Falcata Times
Action packed and thrilling, The Departure is a must for all fans of contemporary science fiction who haven’t experienced Asher’s visceral novels before.
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