The Age of Scorpio by Gavin Smith
Of all the captains based out of Arclight only Eldon Sloper was desperate enough to agree to a salvage job in Red Space. And now he and his crew are living to regret his desperation. In Red Space the rules are different. Some things work, others don't. Best to stick close to the Church beacons. Don't get lost. Because there's something wrong about Red Space. Something beyond rational. Something vampyric… Long after The Loss mankind is different. We touch the world via neunonics. We are machines, we are animals, we are hybrids. But some things never change. A Killer is paid to kill, a Thief will steal countless lives. A Clone will find insanity, an Innocent a new horror. The Church knows we have kept our sins.
This is a fast-paced thrill-ride and Smith wastes no time with lengthy exposition or build-up. A few pages in, and I had no idea who was going to survive or who was going to die… And this felt fresh and unpredictable.
Smith’s novel has cracking dialogue, with sardonic humour and a world weary cynicism permeating proceedings. The technology is impressive and inventive, and when the action comes, it is desperate and frenetic.
With three plot strands: past, present and future, there is always a danger that reader attention could drift or favour one storyline over the other. Yet, thanks to Smith's skill as a writer all chapters neatly interweave together and I was gripped throughout.
The gamers influence is strong and integral to the plot. This is a slick action sci-fi adventure that jumps from ancient Britain, contemporary Britain and our future in outer space.
Smith writes characters well, particularly his two main female ones of Britha, an ancient Briton and Beth from our own time. Both are three dimensional humans who really consider their actions and feel the consequences. Both are trying to do what is best for others, and both go through the mill in order to do it.
Other notable standouts are Malcolm Du Bois, a grizzled police detective with a difference, and Vic and Scab, two comic but deadly bounty killers.
The violence is at times shocking, getting so over the top that it almost becomes comic. Whether this is intentional or not, I do not know. There are only so many savage beatings, broken bones, decapitations and dismemberments before you become jaded with it all. The unflinching violence is however integral to the plot so can be forgiven here.
With striking imagery and Smith’s incredible imagination, this is a dramatic and exciting slice of sci-fi. Very ambitious in scope and lengthy at over 500 pages, this will reward its readership with a thoroughly entertaining, multi-layered story with compelling heroines and anti-heroes.
The Age of Scorpio by Gavin Smith
Published 2013 by Gollancz
This The Age of Scorpio book review was written by Daniel Cann
Have you read The Age of Scorpio?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Age of Scorpio reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she co...
Marjorie B Kellogg
Set in the future on a distant world, Lear’s Daughters tackles the issues of global warming, pollution, exploitation of resources, and disastrous climate change. Long...
Iain M Banks
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. Lededje Y&...
The burgeoning new economies in near-Earth space are fuelled by a steady stream of comets, steered back home by huge nuclear-powered mining ships like Bella Lind’s Ro...
The Naked God
Peter F Hamilton
The Confederation is starting to collapse politically and economically, allowing the 'possessed' to infiltrate more worlds. Quinn Dexter is loose on Earth, destroyi...
The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feedi...
When Streaker - the first starship designed and crewed by dolphins - discovers a derelict ancient armada with evidence of the first sentient species ever, she sets off a wa...
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into ...
James SA Corey
Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach. Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making r...
An Ancient Peace
The centuries-long war between the Confederation and The Others, a group of violent alien species, is over. Intergalactic peace is finally restored. Torin Kerr and her crew...
During all recorded history, the Moon has hovered above our heads, a timeless symbol for lovers' ecstasy. Goddesses & Gibson Girls have tripped the light fantastic ...
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, ...
James SA Corey
On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggl...
The Uplift War
As galactic armadas clash in quest of the ancient fleet of the Progenitors, a brutal alien race seizes the dying planet of Garth. The various uplifted inhabitants must batt...
Old Man's War
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interste...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...