Another long awaited book in the ‘Big Sigma’ series has been read and finished. I say ‘long awaited’ like it’s been years since i read book 4 when it’s only been a few months, but a few months feels like a few years because i love this series so much.
Did it match the expectations? Now that’s the question with this book.
From the very beginning of Big Sigma the whole series has been a whole lot of fun, and i’ve always felt that Joseph was having a lot of fun writing it, and that’s what i’ve come to expect. But this book is different. It’s still a good, enjoyable and engaging read, but it’s just not the fun filled ‘Big Sigma’ that we’re used to, and i think it’s for a good reason. Sometimes in a big story like this there has to come a moment or two of important decisions for one of our favourite likeable/loveable characters where things that have been simmering away for too long are now getting overcooked and need eating. So Lex books the best, most expensive and exclusive restaurant on Operlo for dinner with Michella and the chaos and shenanigans begin: pushing the boundaries of what’s believable and what’s ridiculous but never quite crossing them, while at the same time giving us really wonderful characters to enjoy that are so good you kind of widen those boundaries just because. And that’s what makes this such a great series of books: a writer that is not only willing to push your boundaries to make such exciting and enjoyable stories but is also able to give you such great characters that you’re willing to widen your boundaries as well.
And that ending! Joseph got called a few choice words last night when i finished this book. As Nick Patel would say… ‘Not many writers have the ‘fortitude’ to end a book like that.’
And that brings me back full circle. It’s the ending that makes sense of this book, what it’s all been buiding up to and why it doesn’t have that usual Big Sigma vibe to it.
And it certainly leaves one wondering just where this story is going to go from here. I, for one, can’t wait to find out and i’m certainly left looking forward eagerly to book 6? Ooooh yeah!
And as soon as i finished this i engaged the ‘Infinite Improbability Drive’ in ‘The Pile’ and it chose ‘The Crescents’, which means that i now have to read the whole of ‘The Book of Deacon series’. You see, even the ‘Infinite Improbability Drive’ really likes Joseph’s books — can’t get a better recommendation than that.
And so, after the fantastic, ‘Altered Carbon’, followed up by the enthralling, but not quite as good, ‘Broken Angels’, i had decided not to expect anything from this book other than a couple more incredible sex scenes like the first two books had.
And i was still left utterly disappointed.
The sex scenes in this book are like Richard just couldn’t be bothered. The incredible, imaginative stuff of the first two books had gone and in its place was just crude basic crap with the word ‘cunt’ used far too often like Richard was a 4 year old who just learned a naughty word and is trying to impress all his friends with it. Really, that’s what it was like. It’s like someone else wrote half of this book.
It’s not like the great ideas and a good story that were in the first two books weren’t there any more, they were, and that aspect of it was just as good and just as enthralling. It’s just the telling of it and the writing of it felt totally different.
I felt a bit of this in book two, compared to book one, and this third book continues the downward trajectory.
Did the editor get changed? Because whoever edited this book needs sacking. You really have to stop and pause while you work through conversations trying to decide if someone’s thinking or speaking or whatever because the punctuation is completely missing.
Too many faults in a really good story. What could have been an amazing book is left to be bearable to read once and i can’t ever see myself reading this trilogy ever again.
13 more short stories from a sci-fi master for 83p. Awesome!
15 short stories from a sci-fi master for 59p. What’s not to like?
After the fantastic, ‘Altered Carbon’, it was straight into this, the second book in the trilogy. And after ‘Altered Carbon’ i had exceptionally high hopes for this book, which, admittedly, one should maybe not do, but one can but hope. Did it meet the expectations?
But i certainly wasn’t disappointed. Like ‘Altered Carbon’, it kept me turning the pages, but whereas ‘Altered Carbon’ is set on Earth, ‘Broken Angels’ is set on a planet far, far away. And it’s that one single difference that, for me at least, lets this book down a tiny, tiny bit. I just didn’t feel involved any more, because it’s so far out from the world as i know it that it doesn’t capture me like a book set on Earth does.
Normally one doesn’t notice these things. Usually a sci-fi trilogy is set solely on other planets in a different time with lots of the same characters re-appearing, and it all just flows nicely and feels complete within itself. But this jump from a story based mostly on Earth, with towns and places that we can all relate to, to being based completely on another planet, far, far away, with only one common character, is like reading something that’s not a trilogy any more.
Having said that though, it’s still a good book. But it’s just not the flowing trilogy that i had hoped for and expected from the first book. As the saying goes… ‘Expectation is the mother of all fuck ups’.
Yeah, maybe i shouldn’t have expected that, and to be fair, this book does point out that if you don’t have any expectations and then you will be ready to deal with anything.
Anyways, now i’m not expecting anything with the third book, ‘Woken Furies’, but more of Takeshi Kovacs running amok while killing lots of people, causing lots of mayhem and thinking lots of philosophical points to justify doing so along the way. And he’s already doing that in the first 10 pages.
Although, maybe i lied. I do expect a couple more rampant sex scenes written into this and i’ll be quite disappointed if they’re not there. Both the first two books have had 2 very descriptive and very inventive sex scenes, so this book had better do as well.
All in all though, to sum it up, a very good read if you like lots of death, mayhem, corporate villains, with some highly descriptive sex scenes thrown in. Oh, and i almost forgot… there’s even some Martians as well — yeah, like real Martians.