Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched 180 light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.
©2003 Richard K. Morgan; (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.
"This far-future hard-boiled detective story is a lovely virtual-reality romp." (Booklist)
"Fast-paced, densely textured, impressive....Morgan's 25th-century Earth is convincing, while the questions he poses about how much Self is tied to body chemistry and how the rich believe themselves above the law are especially timely." (Publishers Weekly)
I enjoyed reading this book and considering the idea that a "soul" can be transferred digitally to and from human bodies, almost like taking off an article of clothing. I would have given this book 3.5 stars if I could have. The only issues I had when reading this book most likely came because I read it as an audiobook. The book changes scenes and situations quicly. The recording did not easily differentiate these changes, so at times, when I was reading the book, I was confused as to where we were in the story. Todd McClaron's reqading was good, but the production really sucked. I'll read the other ataakeshi Covacs novels, mostly because I got a good deal when I bought them. If I had gotten this book at full price, I'd have to think about it before continuing. I hope production improves in the next two books because hearing the noise gate trip every sentence really was annoying. Where did they record this, in an industrial plant? These production issues seem to be par for the course the earlier int eh Audible library you go. Seems like Audible could strike a deal to remaster some titles? There are other books that are much worse than this one, don't get me wrong, but the issues with production and transition definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
Seldom it is that I don't finish a book-even one as long as this. Downloaded in two 8 hour sections, I just couldn't make it thru much of the second section...for me the tediousness, the vast number of characters in different bodies, characters who are dramatically part of the story for a couple hours then dead-or part dead-or whatever they are.... who had been killed and revived in the rambling plot became difficult to follow.
It wasn't the sex and violence...I read the previews and got it that this is an adult novel with sex and graphic violence.
It wasn't the narrator-Todd McLaren did a good job holding my interest and actually had a great performance of the gratuitous sex and violence parts.
It wasn't the length-I listen to Stephen King, Tom Clancy and Diana Gabeldon, all who write gigantic fiction.
It was, quite simply, the plot that lost me. Tangled, twisted, I had to listen over to more than a few chapters because I got lost....
And I didn't like the protagonist. I get anti-heroes but this anti-hero is so self interested, so wearisome and monotonous that he became boring.
I know I'm in the minority here, so be it. Maybe I'll try it again some day-on a long airline flight perhaps..at least it will put me to sleep if nothing else.
Eclectic taste in audio books.
Takeshi Kovacs is my new favorite fictional character. Pulled out of cold storage and sent back to Earth from his home world, Kovacs must use his Envoy training and propensity for unflinching violence to discover the truth behind the death of a wealthy and highly connected tycoon.
Excellent narration, a memorable cast of characters, mind-boggling future science, and top-notch noir detective story-telling make this a must-listen. Highly recommended!
I mostly enjoy audio books while in the car. They are a great way to pass the time spent behind the wheel. 99 percent of my titles are SF.
This is good stuff. Great premise, sound reading, terrific cast of characters, solid story, satisfying ending and a promise of more. Gritty hard hitting action in a future that is enough fiction to be fun and scary at the same time. I enjoyed this listen and I am looking forward to the next two books in the series.
I took a leap with this trilogy and couldn't be more pleased with the first novel. RKM created a richly textured universe and an anti-hero that you can't help but love. Sure, there's a lot of ideas that are derivative of other SF - but the author is unapologetic about it and frankly, it makes it easier to swallow some of the concepts and just move forward with the story.
I'm also happy to have listened to, rather than read, this novel. Todd McLaren is a perfect narrator and he nails the gritty tongue-in-cheek tone.
If you like to escape into worlds of (early) William Gibson, aren't ashamed to admit that you loved The Matrix, you'll definitely enjoy yourself here. Its not groundbreaking SF, but you'll be having too much fun to care...
I was hopeful that this was a better science fiction title. I have
not been happy. I listen to many titles and genres, but
the science fiction is particularly bad here at Audible.
I suppose it reflects the poor quality in the genre.
The writing holds up well until the hero, who is like
a cyber-equipped sleuth, whose is brought to
Earth to solve a crimeHuman . Bodies are rented- called
sleeves, and the hero is using a rented body.
When the detective Kovach sleeps with
the wife of the billionaire whose suicide
he is investigating I lost interest It seemed
unprofessional , presumptuous and kind of ruined
it for me
I love hard core sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy
This is a solid first outing for Morgan and he doesn't ruin the whole singularity / tech immortals genre. He is late to the game though.
Morgan covers a lot of the same ground as other authors. He does offer a few minor twists on how society has handling this transition. Altered Carbon is in essence, a story about a retired special forces operative who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. It has a hint of Noir in it and the story is fairly well constructed. As a detective story goes, it doesn't disappoint. It is rare these days that I don't know the who, what, when, where and why by the middle of these kinds of stories. Morgan kept enough threads running without losing focus to make it an interesting read.
I wasn't a fan of the sex in the book, a bit too much detail and porn quality to it. It may have shock value for some but I didn't think it added anything to the story as a whole. The relationships did. The interaction between the characters wasn't crazy complex or extremely deep but they did lend a since of humanity to the book.
If you haven't read anything from Alastair Reynolds and LOVE Sci-fi and a good whodunit this is will be in your top list of books to recommend to others.
If you have read Reynolds and came to Morgan for the same, you won't be as happy. Chasm City is probably one of the best outings in this genre and is the benchmark as far as I'm concerned.
Todd McLaren is a top performer. Not just for his ability to bring the characters to life but for the homework he does BEFORE stepping into the studio. No sound effects, no over the top Rambo style performance just s solid reading that brings the book alive.
There are a few narrators that I will listen to even if I've never heard of the book and it is outside my normal venues just because they are that good. Todd is on that list.
Was it worth the money and time? You bet! It was a good roller coaster ride even if it was a bit bumpy in some spots.
Good science fiction is good literature, and this book fits that criterion. The reader glides without difficulty into the fictitious space, without any excessively self-conscious reason not to suspend disbelief. The themes of life, death, and their meanings, within a different context--not our own, then unfold. But the echoes reach back to us, especially in this era of a rapidly aging population.
What can I say? I liked it.
When I started to listen to this book my air conditioner was on and I found the book interesting. Then the weather changed and off went the air conditioner, and when I continued to listen to the book, that's when I noticed it. Very sloppy audio editing. When the narrator speaks I can hear ambient noise. When he stops for a pause after a sentence, the ambient noise is gone. So it is constantly switching from hearing the ambient noise to silence in the background which makes it very hard for me to flow with the book. It's distracting. So - I'll wait till next summer comes and the AC goes back on, to continue this book, and then after that I may change the rating. Narrator is good.
I could not get into this book at all! It is one of those rare instances when I really think a movie will be better than the book (it's supposedly optioned for a movie). It was hard to grasp the concepts, it was all sooooo futuristic that I really couldn't connect.......
Also, while this genre does tend to be very sexual for some reason, it was too much.... gratuitous, and I'm not real prudish about that sort of thing......Just not a book I care for. But I will see the movie, I think the story is pretty alright.
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