Woken Furies — Richard Morgan

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.

Richard’s Page

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Broken Angels — Richard Morgan

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?

Not quite.

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.

Richard’s Page

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Altered Carbon – Richard Morgan

Wow! How does one review something like this book?

To start with… It’s hard, brutal, nasty and cruel. It’s got rape, torture, snuff, hardcore literary pornography and other unpleasant stuff, even some bestiality thrown in for good measure. So if any of that kind of stuff bothers you, seriously, don’t open this book. Instead, you can go and watch, what i presume will be, a tamed down version on Netflix. I say ‘presume’ because i most certainly am not going to be watching it after reading this book as i don’t want Netflix ruining it for me, plus, i’ve got plenty of really good books to read instead. After reading this book, i’m very content with the impression the book leaves, any video hack job of this book will only diminish that contentment.

The story is in the first person narrative of our protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs, who was a highly trained military asset known as an ‘Envoy’. ‘Envoy’ being quite the twisted, euphemistic description of what his military role used to be. And as an Envoy, Kovacs was trained to have no feelings towards anyone or anything. He’s essentially just a pure, flat affect machine designed to get a job done that normal military assets can’t be used for, for one reason or another. But now he no longer works for those who trained him and instead uses his training as a free lance criminal with devasting effect.

So, with that in mind, you are taken on a journey from the point of view of a weaponised, mal-adjusted, amoral, machine like mind, and at times it can become quite the uncomfortable ride.

On top of all this, the book is set in the future where human minds can be decanted into software and ‘re-sleeved’ into new bodies, either real, synthetic, semi-synthetic or virtual and as such some of the characters have been alive for over 300 years. These older characters are known as ‘meths’, short for ‘Methuselahs’ named after the longest living character in the bible. It is one of these meths that has employed Kovacs, under duress, to find out who killed him in his last ‘sleeve’. And so we go on a high octane, magical carpet ride on steroids as Kovacs takes on the worst of the future of humanity in his search to find answers.

It’s not an easy read either. As you are seeing things from the point of view of this highly trained military killing machine you have to pay the attention to the details as he is, and you do find yourself having to re-read a few pages here and there. But it’s certainly worth that extra effort in what it pays back.

All in all, to sum it up, ‘A fantastic book, but most definitely not for the faint of heart.’

I can’t wait to get into book 2 of this series, ‘Broken Angels’

Richard’s Page

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