Neal Asher is on top form in Cowl, his fast-paced space opera.
He's the nightmare you never imagined . . .
In the far-future, the Heliothane Dominion triumphed after a bitter war. But some enemies escaped into the past, to wreak havoc across time. The worst is Cowl – originally human, until artificially-forced evolution made him something else entirely.
Polly is unprepared for her involvement with Nandru Jurgens. He’s a Taskforce soldier, now hunted by killers. Nor can Polly resist the alien 'tor' she’s compelled to attach to her arm. But when she’s dragged through time, she learns fast. Tack has a tor fragment embedded in his wrist – a bloody reminder of Heliothane’s government. As their vat-grown assassin, he’s no stranger to violence. But the extent of this mission is different.
Meanwhile, a beast hunts its targets through time’s alternate dimensions. This is Cowl's pet tor – and it’s eager to feed.
In the media
In Cowl Neal Asher seems to be doing to the time-travel adventure what he has been doing to space opera and planetary romance: to pump it full of performance-enhancing substances and send it crashing through a gigantically expanded version of its traditional milieu, exploding the big sets and sending body parts flying in all directions.
Neal Asher's books are like an adrenaline shot targeted directly for the brain
John Scalzi on The Soldier
The Soldier provides everything we demand from Asher: a beautifully complex universe where AIs, aliens and post-humans scheme and struggle – magnificently awesome. Then Asher turns it up to eleven
Peter F. Hamilton on The Soldier
The whole impressive, ingenious enterprise hurtles along at a high-octane clip while swinging with nonchalant abandon between horror and comedy: call it black slapstick. In sum: a blast
Kirkus on The Skinner