Professor of American and World History at a community college. Enjoys hard science fiction, space fantasy and space opera, fantasy, and historical narratives. Heck, I'll read anything once!
I found Richard K. Morgan's world and his unabashed expectation that the reader keep up to be quite refreshing. So many science fiction and fantasy novels go to extreme lengths to explain the technology, sociology, or general "world" of the story that it can get boring. The Holy Infodump can really get in the way of the story. Morgan doesn't do that. Much of the technology presented in the book (and the concept of sleeves is ESSENTIAL to the story) is just presented as a given. He challenges the reader to keep up, explaining only the core bits and only just enough to let the reader follow along. It's wonderful to actually DISCOVER for a change!
It's intricate, but not tricky. The characters are all interesting, even those not meant to be sympathetic. And, despite it being a 1st Person story, there's just enough introspection to provide the reader with a grounding and not so much that it becomes maudlin or moralizing.
I'm certain I'd have loved the book on the page as much as the audio version. McLaren provides a good, steady reading. It doesn't improve the story, but it doesn't have to.
Well, I'm curious about Morgan's next book. Does that count? :)
If this was truly a debut novel, then Richard K. Morgan is either quite talented or quite lucky. Either way, he's got a lot to live up to from here-on out!
Terrific story telling, pacing, and imagining both the functional and dystopian aspects of a possible future society. Well-narrated. Too bad it was simply the backdrop for another alpha male cop story. Blade Runner already scratches that itch.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
Not the best book I've ever read, but pretty damn good. The performance is exceptionally good. I was really pleased, and I enjoyed the 2nd book which works well (both can be read separately, and even out of order, although it's better to read them in order). I give it 93 out of 100.
The plot promised to make this a great book, but after the 1st chapter I had to stop listening because of the language. If this was a cd it would have had a warning label attached. If you get this book make sure you are ready for the language.
Living in Northern NJ. Addicted to that spine-tingling rush of fear.
I’m more of a horror fan rather than Sci-fi…but the story line sounded interesting. Honestly, it was a good futuristic view of the “what-ifs.” No heart-racing moments, but a good story.
Overall I liked all of the characters and the future world the author created, but the story fell short. At times I felt like the story was confusing due to the way it sometimes would make a very disjointed jump in the plot.
The Todd McLaren's reading fell short when it came to female characters. You could not tell when he was reading a male or female voice, which also caused some confusion.
I may read future books in the series, but they are not top on my list.
For quite some time, I've desired a consistent, somewhat objective rating system for the audiobooks so that customers don't have to do so much gambling with our time and hard-earned money to have an enjoyable or satisfying listening/reading experience.
Currently, for the listening customer, Audible categorizes the books, and customers rate the books on a one to five scale, and they can write a review. I think there are more ways to rate the audiobooks that would be helpful.
Perhaps we could also consider....
Use the ratings we have for movies, podcasts, music, video games.
For example, this book would seem to be rated: R-17, for Graphic Violence, Torture, Explicit Sex, Drug Use.
This type of rating could be one of my first steps or filters in making a decision.
I think the five star ratings of story, performance, overall, try to cover areas too broad to be effective. We could use a number or star rating system to rate by characteristics. We would have a Story Score, Performance Score, and a Listener Satisfaction Score.
The rating scale could be used to rate the story by: characters, setting, plot, dialogue, conclusion. Performance could be rated by several characteristics of voice quality, pronunciation, ability to create voices for characters (if fiction).
Listeners could also give a rating from their personal reactions. These could be believability, held my interest, thought provoking, satisfying, no fluff, compelling characters, good dialogue, liked the ending.
Finally, there would still be the written reviews for people to express their personal thoughts and feelings about the books for others to read.
Personally, I do not care for the orange words at the end of a review where people can click on, "# of People Who Found This Review Helpful. YES NO" I think that's too judgmental and has a potential for being misused. I want to encourage people to write about a book and not be worried about how they'll be judged.
To summarize, I've suggested adding the use of a movie rating to books. I'd also recommend using of a "click it" rating system to create a Story Score, Performance Score, and a Reader Satisfaction Score. Finally, continue using written reviews without being told if you're opinion is "helpful" (a vague and misleading term).
So, what did I think of Altered Carbon? I really wanted to like it more than I did. I liked the creativity of some of the ideas about the future. As I was listening to it, I thought if they made this into a movie, it would require a lot of editing to make it something that would appeal to a wider audience.
I hope we never actually have a future that bleak. I would like to think we could evolve and improve so that we do not have such divisions of wealth and poverty. I don't want a future world that is so violent, dark, and has so much suffering. I would like to think our future could be better than this.
I found if hard to finish. It didn't "flow" easily for me. I had to listen again to several chapters. The characters were not as well-developed as I would have preferred. I had to fast forward through some of the events in the book that were too uncomfortable for me to listen to.
I would have preferred an abridged version. I felt sleepy a lot while listening. The author's voice was trying to have that "noir" sound which puts me to sleep when I watch the old detective movies. The story also got too wrapped up in what I thought were unnecessary details which made me lose my concentration. Instead of so many details, I'd hoped it would be a more thoughtful book.
Everyone has something different they want from a book. I really appreciated reading all the reviews for this book that have been submitted. I read all the reviews for this book on Audible. I read a lot of the reviews and ratings from "goodreads", Amazon, Barnes & Noble, New York Review of Books, and others.
This series was one of the series on sale at audible.com and after reading reviews for it and the synopsis I was sold. The pace of the book was right on keeping me engaged almost the entire time. The story was layered and complex however the narration of the book made it easy to follow and the science fiction elements were believable and not difficult to understand. The author does a good job of giving just enough so that you understand processes or key points important for the plot.
The thing I did have trouble with is more the fact that I listened to this installment rather than read it. As a step away from my normal romance genre or fact-driven science or medicine genres that I tend to gravitate often to, I really had to pay attention with this book while I listened. I found myself rewinding a lot just to be sure I understood the scene. This is in contrast with my usual reads that I can skip through seconds or minutes of the narration and understand the main elements. So I would advice that this book may be best as a read and not an audio because many details might be lost to get the full experience.
Also, this book has a lot of foul language and there is a fair amount of killings, tortures, and bone-breaking fights, however, I didn't find the book to be too graphic or feel that the author mindlessly threw bad words around to be distasteful. It fits the story, the characters, and the situations. This book also contains a couple of sex scenes, but again I am familiar with romance books so they didn't bother me, but if you are sensitive to that, this may not be a good choice.
Narrator: Todd McLaren
I disliked the way he narrated the female characters. It sounded mocking and juvenile like an older brother teasing and although there were some distinction between characters, it wasn't enough to get the variety of characters in the novel. Also the accents that he made were terrible, slipping in and out of them so easily while reading for the same character that I really needed to pay attention otherwise I wouldn't know who was talking. Also, his inflections were only existent when the sentence blatantly described it and most of the time he would over exaggerate it so that it felt out of place.
Well no, because I know what happens. I would recommend to anyone who loves the future, is not offended by sex and drugs, and likes a good detective story.
I don't know, but with the right director this would make a great movie!
I would recommend this one highly. I have been listening to books for 20 years and this is one of my favorites. Its similar to William Gibson novels, but not to the point of being monotonous. I will definitely be listening to the rest of the series. Remember people in the future have different values, so do not get this if you are offended by graphic sex. Its not distasteful according to my wife, but it is very detailed. If you are looking for further comparisons, I found this also to be similar in the who done it sense, to James Lee Burke novels in the sense of a wild card going up against high society.
My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
This was great! Todd McLaren is a great narrator. He gives this story a Mike Hammer flavor reading from first person. Lot's of twists and turns in the story.
SEX, oh yeah and graphic too. So if you're put off by really bad and VERY descriptive language concerning sex, this might not be the book for you. But the scenes are few. So if you get the book and you're offended by this, fast forward!
My only complaint is the descriptive nature of the story. It sometimes gets in the way of the action and the story, bogging it down. it's almost about the descriptions more than the story at times. In places it's fine if the story is at a bit of a stand still. I've found that some authors get overly descriptive right in the middle of an action or fast moving scene causing the scene to 'get lost' in describing every minute detail to the point of losing the thread of attention that should be taking place to keep the pace.