Chronicles the early days of Neal Asher’s primary Polity protagonist, agent Cormac, by intertwining two plot threads, stuff that happened while Cormac was a kid and his early days as an agent for the Polity. It’s unusual for Asher in that the story is primarily character-driven, even if there’s a hunt for some terrorists going on. Also surprisingly Asher pulls this off rather well. Cormac is played not as hard-shell-soft-core hero, but as a deeply damaged person who functions well and doesn’t let the damage define who he is, even if its the foundation of who he is. It’s kind of an interesting take on the psychotic hero and of all things reminds me a bit of James Bond, somewhat.