Embarking 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 ghosts of Harlan's World and his own violent past rise to claim their due.
The setting is Harlan's World, 95% ocean, where ancient alien orbital systems still vaporize anything that flies too high. Kovacs, older and madder, is running a private vendetta against Taliban-like fundamentalists whose principles--in a world where death is reversible--forced an old girl-friend and her child to die permanently. Wounded and on the run as usual, he escapes by joining a "deCom" squad hunting down human-built weapons systems that don't want to be decommissioned. Soon he's entangled with a woman who (some of the time) seems to be a reincarnation of long-dead revolutionary leader Quellcrist Falconer
Meanwhile, the dictatorial ruling family of Harlan's World has set the deadliest possible assassin on Kovacs' trail--an illegal copy of his younger self, in a brand-new body.
High-energy complications follow. There's unexpected violence in a virtual-reality monastery. Kovacs and "Quellist" sympathizers plan a crazy James Bond assault on an impregnable island fortress, an attack that ends in a surprise twist. The idealistic Quellcrist (if that's who she is) has the key to a genetic time-bomb never before used: "A whole new form of death." Even those implacable orbital weapons that smite high-fliers with "angelfire" have secrets of their own.
Morgan's knack for grisly set-pieces and heart-stopping violence makes for compulsive reading--emphatically not for the squeamish. Against all odds, his fast-moving choreography of pursuits, escapes, shoot-outs, reversals and betrayals finally ends in a satisfying touch of compassion, a trace of hope. A superior SF thriller. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I felt the violence had been toned down somewhat, it can be difficult to tell if its the text or just me getting used to people being splattered over walls, the whole mood of this book is Political, while there is a thread of Politics in each AC-Universe novel (Quellism, Family bloodlines etc) this one is motivated by shifting powerbases and fighting for control.
It is also a new chapter in Takeshi Kovacs' personality, we see him meeting up with friends only hinted at previously and his overall mood seems to be broody and tense, a reflection of the author or possibly (hopefully) a deliberate portrayal of how Kovacs time apart from the Envoys and 'normal' life has changed him. Questions regarding his reasons for leaving the Corp. and his purpose in life make this less of a gun-fest and more philosophical (with guns of course)
If you have not read any of these books I recommend you get them all, if you enjoy Sci-Fi and futuristic weaponry with layers of politics, betrayal, bio-tech, near-immortality and fluid, visceral prose then you can't say no to Takeshi Kovacs.
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