- Author: Richard Morgan
- File Size: 931 KB
- Print Length: 580 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (September 18, 2008)
- Publication Date: September 18, 2008
- Language: English
This is high action, ideas driven noir SF of the highest order. Morgan has already established himself as an SF author of global significance.
Takeshi Kovacs has come home.
Home to Harlan’s World. An ocean planet with only 5% of its landmass poking above the dangerous and unpredictable seas. Try and get above the weather in anything more sophisticated than a helicopter and the Martian orbital platforms will burn you out of the sky.
And death doesn’t just wait for you in the seas and the skies. On land, from the tropical beaches and swamps of Kossuth to the icy, machine-infested wastes of New Hokkaido the hard won gains of the Quellist revolution have been lost. The First Families, the corporations and the Yakuza have a stranglehold on everything.
Embarked on a journey of implacable retribution for a lost love, Kovacs is blown off course and into a maelstrom of political intrigue and technological mystery as the ghosts of Harlan’s World and his own violent past rise to claim their due. Quellcrist Falconer is back from the dead, they say, and hunting her down for the First Families is a savage young Envoy called Kovacs who’s been in storage.
In Morgan’s powerful third cyberpunk noir SF novel to feature Takeshi Kovacs, whose consciousness is transferred from one ultra–combat-ready body to another in the service of various unscrupulous powers, the interstellar mercenary returns home to Harlan’s World, thoroughly pissed and dangerous. Despite his justified cynicism, he finds himself trying to protect a young woman who may house the soul of a martyred revolutionary from centuries earlier. He also must fight a hired killer who’s a younger version of himself. To succeed, he has to sift through his past to see which allies and memories he can trust. Morgan has become even more nervy since winning the Philip K. Dick Award for his confident first novel, Altered Carbon (2003). This book develops a baroque, appallingly complicated setting, full of opportunities for revelation and betrayal. Both violence and sex are troweled on thickly but appropriately; they have significant consequences for these people who are trying—in circumstances even more desperate than our own—to discover who they really are and who they might have a chance to become.
Following Altered Carbon (2003) and Broken Angels (2004), Morgan’s anxiously awaited third Takeshi Kovacs novel makes a terrific addition to an award-winning series. This time Morgan takes a giant leap into the cyberpunk future that William Gibson begin exploring 20 years ago. Unlike Gibson, however, Morgan combines the cyberpunk style with a fast-paced, first-person narrative that is as evocative of classic hard-boiled detective fiction as it is of cutting-edge science fiction. His protagonist, Kovacs, a futuristic version of a ronin (“for hire”) samurai, is back on his home planet, Harlan’s World. The ruling Harlan family awakens Kovacs from digital storage into a newly constructed body and launches him on a mission that weaves a dangerous course through labyrinthine politics and murderous hardware. But Kovacs also has his own agenda. Vengeance and a quest for a long-lost love continually put his loyalties into conflict with his powerful and ruthless new employers, in a future where death may or may not be forever. Highly recommended for followers of the series, cyberpunk devotees, and hard-boiled detective fans not averse to a little genre-bending.
Wow, I was not expecting the book to be this good when I bought it. I typically have lower standards for books on Kindle Daily Deals due to the some of the offerings I see and the lower prices, but this book was amazing sci-fi/noir mystery. The writing was great and the whole story flowed very well to an exciting conclusion. This is a pretty long book in a very good way, I couldn’t believe how much the author managed to fit in. The sci-fi concepts behind the book were also very interesting, had never read about concepts like this before. Definitely seems like a very realistic dystopian future in some ways and really makes you appreciate something as simple as human mortality.
Background: I typically buy my Kindle books as part of the Kindle Daily Deals and plan them for airplane reading or times when I am away from home and cannot do more exciting or responsible tasks. This means that my standards are not too high and I am looking for books in the beach read category under the fantasy/sci-fi genres. I try to rate fairly on the star scale and personally consider anything 3 stars and up to be fine.
made the mistake to watch the first series of Netflix’s show based on this book before I read it. Also, I deliberately waited for a month or so after I finished the show because I didn’t want that experience to interfere with the reading experience. I had done both things wrong. First of all, it’s a great show, but that’s not what I’m reviewing here. The book is so much better (as always). And because there were really big changes made when it was turned into the show, there is no reason not to enjoy both versions.
I thought that the world building is really exceptional here. The whole system and the workings of society are very well thought out. The writing and also the twists and turns in the story elevate this book among the great classics, at least for me. It instantly became one of my all-time-favorites.
I half read & half listened to this novel because of time constraints (and the excellent deal kindle offered for the Audible content via whispernet). It’s an excellently crafted piece of fiction that, while staying within the noir cyberpunk style of the first two novels, answers many lingering questions about Takeshi Kovacs and the mythology of his universe. The writing is superb and the story is top notch.
However, I’d suggest that you read this novel and not listen to it via Audible. First of all, it’s a different actor reading & a different director than used for the first two novels, which is in itself a little bit disconcerting. You can get past it, if it’s done right, but they didn’t do a good job.