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Broken Angels (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Richard Morgan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Sep 2008 GOLLANCZ S.F.

Fifty years after the events of ALTERED CARBON, Takeshi Kovacs is serving as a mercenary in the Procterate-sponsored war to put down Joshuah Kemp's revolution on the planet Sanction IV. He is offered the chance to join a covert team chasing a prize whose value is limitless -- and whose dangers are endless. Here is a novel that takes mankind to the brink.

A breakneck-paced crime thriller, ALTERED CARBON took its readers deep into the universe Morgan had so compellingly realised without ever letting them escape the onward rush of the plot. BROKEN ANGELS melds SF, the war novel and the spy thriller to take the reader below the surface of this future and lay bare the treacheries, betrayals and follies that leave man so ill-prepared for the legacy he has been given: the stars. This is SF at its dizzying best: superb, yet subtle, world-building; strong yet sensitive characterisation; awesome yet believable technology, thilling yet profound writing. Richard Morgan is set to join the genre's world-wide elite.


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Broken Angels (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + Woken Furies (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (4 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575081252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575081253
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Morgan is 39 and was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Broken Angels is a standalone sequel, to Richard Morgan's debut novel Altered Carbon--a high-tech, ultra-violent, noir SF thriller which attracted much attention, including a movie deal.

Thirty years later, our super-soldier hero Takeshi Kovacs is wearing yet another body (swapping is easy in this future), already wounded in a messy war against revolutionary forces on the planet Sanction IV. Very soon he's lured from his duties into a hunt for a fantastic treasure discovered by archaeologists and carefully hushed up. The long-vanished Martians who once colonised the galaxy have left a buried hyperspace gateway leading to a working starship in distant orbit.

Kovacs uses frightening violence to get the attention of corporate sponsors even more ruthless than himself. His hastily assembled exploration team must work in a lethal fallout zone, racing to open the gate before they're stopped by radiation sickness, treacherous sabotage, or the threat of fast-evolving nanoweaponry. And there are repeated hints that if they ever make it through that gateway, worse things are waiting on the far side...

It's all desperately tense and crafted with appalling inventiveness. Life is cheap and death is no release, because the "cortical stack" implanted in everyone's spine constantly records the total personality, ready for "re-sleeving" in a new clone body or storage in virtual reality. So Kovacs goes recruiting at the macabre Soul Market, where thanks to the war there are literal skiploads of hacked-out sections of human spine containing stacks--for sale by the kilogram.

Other ingredients include sex, voodoo, torture, multiple betrayal, cool military technology, incomprehensible alien constructions, age-old cycles of catastrophe, and--above all--extreme violence. The screw is turned further and further, beyond what seems possible. Readers may find themselves forgetting to breathe. This is a rattling good yarn, for the strong of stomach. --David Langford --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'Morgan unfurls the twisting plot and counter plot of corporate greed and corrupt politics brilliantly.' The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can't wait for another one 12 April 2003
Format:Paperback
I hate to admit to being shallow but I did only by Richard Morgan's first book because of the shinny cover and here the old cliché turns out to be completely wrong.
I loved Altered Carbon and when I found out that a sequel was on the shelves I ran to the computer and got it. Like the last book this one gets you right from the off and refuses to let go. Set in a future where body swapping is an every day occurrence and you can only truly die if your cortical backup (called a stack, located just under the skull) is destroyed.
Takeshi Kovacs thirty years older since we last saw him, has a new body an is working as a mercenary in a political war on sanction IV. Wounded and in hospital he is offered the chance to get away from the fighting and go on a archaeological dig in the fallout radius of nuclear explosion and for personal reasons he accepts.
From here Morgan goes in to great detail about the lost civilisation found on Mars and how humans spread out in to the universe (something that was glossed over in the first book). It is a different style than Altered Carbon but still written in the first person, less a detective noir and more a political/corporate/military thriller it is never the less intriguing to read about how human civilisation has changed very little in 500 years.
The technology is described extremely proficiently and at no point does anything seem implausible and besides the book is more about the characters than the gadgets. The interactions between the various characters are expertly written (Morgan has a great ear for dialogue), its unsettlingly fascinating to read about them all slowly dying of terminal radiation exposure as they unearth secrets of an alien technology.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitely in my top ten SF ever 6 July 2003
Format:Paperback
I can't wax enthusiastic enough about Richard Morgan and his first two books. I'd just about given up on trying to find any more good science fiction and again forego attempting to find any worth reading for another ten years or so, when I found Altered Carbon. My faith was restored. There was good, plausible, non-Cyberpunk, SF with a messge being published after all. In addition to giving his characters humanity and fallibility in ways that enhance and make more comprehensible his stories,Morgan also quite simply tells some of the best stories written in the last ten or twenty years,and if he keeps up his output and builds on what he's done so far, I believe he could have much the same impact as a Heinlein or Clarke. Instead of the triumvirate of Heinlein - Clarke - Asimov , maybe Reynolds - Banks - Morgan will establish equivalent new signposts in space-opera.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Dark 15 Sep 2003
By J. Neal VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The sequel to Altered Carbon is actually a better book in my opinion, but that may have something to do with the genre. Okay, so it's based on the same central character, Takeshi Kovacs, and it's set in the same universe [as such] but, unlike the first novel, which is a detective story set in space, this is just out and out sci-fi, and all the better for it. The usual tenets apply here, very well written, with a good tight style, complex enough to be challenging and strong characterisation, with a nice and dark overtone that suits my preference. This novel concentrates mostly on the artefacts left behind by the Martian civilisation alluded to in Altered Carbon and explores man's place in the universe in relation to the other races that went before. The effect is eerie and mysterious, but Richard Morgan hasn't neglected the shocking capacity for violence that made his central character so appealing and repulsive at once in the previous book. Once again, very highly recommended, but read Altered Carbon first.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi Thriller 14 Jan 2004
By Tom Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Altered Carbon was an exceptional debut novel, and Broken Angels, which is a stand alone sequel, shows no reduction in quality.
Once again Takeshi Kovacs is the central character. A former 'Envoy' and all round hardcase. This time he is a mercenary on Sanction IV, and the story line is the classic quest for buried treasure.
While Kovacs was on something of a lone crusade in the last book, this time he is part of a group of mercenaries - as another reviewer astutely put it, this is Aliens compared to Alien.
Comparisons to Altered Carbon are unavoidable, and if you have not yet read the earlier book then you should.
Broken Angels does inevitably lack the wow element of its predecessor - set in the same universe and with the same central character, the only real novelty is the martian artifacts that are the subject of the quest.
The rest of the comparison is straight forward - Morgan has written another cracking page-turner, and its a fairly safe bet that if you liked the first book, you will like this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Thirty years after his trip to Earth in Altered Carbon, ex-Envoy Takeshi Kovacs is fighting for the mercenary unit known as the Wedge in a dirty little war on the planet Sanction IV, between the ruling corporate cartel and the pro-democracy separatists under Joshua Kemp. After being killed and 're-sleeved' one time too many in the conflict, Kovacs is made an offer he can't refuse: to arrange an expedition to recover the most valuable alien artefact in history, a prize that people are willing to kill for, even commit genocide for...

Broken Angels is the middle volume of the 'Takeshi Kovacs Trilogy', although it is a stand-alone novel. There are a couple of very vague references to the events of Altered Carbon, but not as many as there are to Kovacs' activities between the novels. Kovacs has been a busy lad, and the man we meet in Broken Angels, although still the same brutally efficient warrior, is somewhat more layered and interesting than the character we met earlier.

Broken Angels is an improvement on Altered Carbon, although it is also a rather different kind of novel. Whilst Altered Carbon was a hard-boiled detective story with elements of noir, Broken Angels is more of a war story, focusing on special operations and mercenaries. Kovacs has a number of allies and is a member of a team this time around, contrasted to the lone wolf operative of Carbon. Whilst the first-person perspective means we get less time with the other characters as we would in a third-person story, Morgan paints Kovacs' new allies quite vividly, giving them decent introductions and motivations.

As with Carbon, this is a hard-edged, violent story which lurks in a grey morass of conflicting morals and ethics. There are double-crosses, deceptions and murky allegiances aplenty.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable SF romp. Despite. Rather strange. Punctuation.
This book is a fairly standard crime/thriller story set in a fairly standard SF universe.

It’s the second of three books by Morgan featuring the mercenary Takeshi... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Philtrum
4.0 out of 5 stars solid coherent sci if
Solid follow on from altered carbon but that was an impossibly hard act to follow. Kovacs remains a terrific character, as dark a hero as you could get
Published 4 months ago by Aiden W
4.0 out of 5 stars tad weaker than the 1st book, but still a jolly good read
altered carbon is the better of the two, but both a worth reading.
Both pretty much hold their own as mainstream SF
Published 6 months ago by Graeme
2.0 out of 5 stars Long-winded
Interesting plot line, but too slow. Disappointing ending....it just kind of fizzled out in the last 30 pages. Shame really.
Published 6 months ago by Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific sequel
This fast-paced, action-packed second instalment in the crazy life of Takeshi Kovacs - soldier of fortune with a conscience and a soft spot for doing the right thing - is just as... Read more
Published 7 months ago by roger
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
wonderful book of a wonderful trilogy one of the top 5 authors writing at the moment and this was his best work to date
Published 9 months ago by Jme
3.0 out of 5 stars This is like doing homework
I hope I have done my duty as an Amazon consumer by fulfilling my duties. Is this enough? My god, what do you want? An article?
Published 11 months ago by TheRichTurner
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant as always
Richard writes sci-fi brilliantly. Answers questions about the martians that were left unexplained in prior books, some horror slipped into the action and politics.
Published 12 months ago by vivekg
5.0 out of 5 stars We should be listening
To Mandella,to Haldeman, to Lennon, to Pilger, to Morgan, to Ghandi. We don't , we haven't got what it takes, we're still hanging from branches throwing our shit at the other... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Adrian Key
5.0 out of 5 stars No shortage of new ideas...
This being his second novel, I was a bit worried that all of his best ideas might have been forced into the first. I'm very happy to see that that wasn't the case. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Scire Satis
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