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.