Orbus is an Old Captain hooper from Spatterjay. Rather crazy sadist at one time. He had a run in with the old war drone Sniper at one stage in a rather embarassing fashion.
So when Sniper is sick of being the Spatterjay Warden AI and decides to upgrade and take off on his own - who does he get teamed up with to investigate a Polity-Prador No-Man's Land dangerous situation with? Yep, Orbus. Plus the Ship AI that takes them there.
The story gets more complicated than spies and skirmishes, with more revelations about the Spatterjay virus, and also the political history of the Pradtor. Overon is the Third King - but a monster known as the Golgoloth was the Second. In Asher's Polity Universe, monsters are very, very real. So, sometimes are the leftovers of dead advanced alien races such as the Jain.
These aren't all the old 'friends' showing up, however. Note one Prador named Vrell, and the drone Thirteen and you have a Spatterjay reunion in space.
A book that gets better as it goes along, but again is perhaps a touch long.
Definitely inventive, though, in the usual twisted and dangerous fashion.
Sniper is easily one of the best robot characters ever. The other good thing is using the alien Prador as characters, and making them seem like they are of another species who are built and think differently. And of course lose different body parts when shot with railguns, missiles or laser!
3.5 out of 5