Broken Angels (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 4 Dec 2003
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|Paperback, 4 Dec 2003||
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The extraordinary new novel from one of the brightest stars of British SF takes mankind to the brink of a terrifying secret.
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.See all Product description
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It’s the second of three books by Morgan featuring the mercenary Takeshi Kovacs. Think Jack Reacher in the 26th century.
Humanity has spread out to the stars, following in the footsteps of the (long-departed – or killed off?) Martian civilisation. If you have a ‘stack’ (a black box attached the spine of your neck) then, even if you’re killed, your personality can be loaded into a new body (“sleeve”).
Kovacs is hired by a corporation to be part of a group of crack soldiers (all “re-sleeved” after dying in service in one way or another) whose mission is to investigate a kind of Martian wormhole that’s been found on a planet (Sanction IV). There’s a war on Sanction IV – between the ruling organisation and the revolutionary Joshua Kemp. Though we experience nothing of this war directly. All the action in the book is wholly peripheral to the war.
As you might expect, all is not as it seems. I found the plot interesting enough, and the action exciting enough. To be honest, during the last few pages of exposition, I rather lost track, as Morgan ties up most of the loose ends, but the journey from A to B was enjoyable enough.
If anything, though, Morgan gets a little too tied up in the action and we don’t get enough explanation. If you’re going to set an action story several hundred years in the future, you’ve got to fit the explanations around the plot rather better than has been managed here.
Also, Morgan has adopted in the book the rather. Annoying. Habit. Of using full stops to. Punctuate. Sentences. In an odd. Way.
It’s an enjoyable SF romp, with enough to keep you interested and get you thinking.
I still like the central idea of immortality through a backup device located in the base of the skull and rebirth into clone bodies know as sleeves. Personality backups can be sent via faster than light "radio" comms to other planets for re-sleeving! Which makes inexpensive travel to other stars a reality. Very clever premise.
The story has enough twists and turns, betrays and intrigue to keep you guessing right up to the last chapter, I particularly enjoyed the end, as everything is NOT tied up in a neat bow ((like Peter F. Hamilton's books - which drive me mad!) A the end of this book, there is a resolution - a very messy one; some character don't make it, plans change, which adds a sense of realism. Just bought the third in the series.
I'll wait till my squeamishness-quotient sinks back down to full blood-lust level before I tackle his unrelated but similar work " Black Man".
Mr.Morgan writes good books, Buy them.