The Departure

Neal Asher

01 October 2020
512 pages


In a world devoid of hope, is revenge the only way out?

The Argus Space Station looks down on a nightmarish Earth. And from here, the Committee enforces its despotic rule. It governs a corrupt world, where the poor are starving – and are policed by mechanized overseers wielding identity-reader guns. There are also too many people and too few resources, so the Committee has decided twelve billion people must die. So they prepare to unleash the full power of their Station’s weaponry to make this happen.

Alan Saul wakes to this world, confined in a crate bound for a Calais incinerator. He doesn’t know why he’s there; he only remembers pain and his tormentor’s face. And he has company: Janus, a rogue intelligence, who is inhabiting forbidden hardware in his skull. As Janus shows his host a damaged Earth, Saul resolves to discover who he was – and kill his interrogator. Next he will take on the Committee and topple their debased regime.

The Departure is the first fast-paced book in the Owner trilogy by acclaimed science fiction author Neal Asher.

'Delivers plenty of thrills' SFX

'Fast, dramatic stuff . . . rapid pace, great action, messy consequences' SFFWorld

'I had an absolute blast with this book . . . his work really does get better and better' FalcataTimes

Fast, furious, violent, slightly tongue-in-cheek (I think), and a whole lot of fun that makes 1984 seem like a children’s tea party . . . the start of another promising series from Asher. Go on, dive in, you won’t be disappointed
Delivers plenty of thrills, and the climax also sets up a very intriguing status quo for the second volume
Fast, dramatic stuff . . . this is a book with lots of Asher trademarks: rapid pace, great action, messy consequences