Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course.
But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a nicotine-addicted ex-thug and presented with a catch-22 offer, he really shouldn't be surprised. Contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body, Kovacs is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy that stretches across known space and to the very top of society. Read by Todd McLaren.
©2003 Richard K Morgan (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc
If you are a patient listener, are good at remembering names, and like sci-fi this is a book for you!
Voicing might seem a little dull at times, but actually the choice of voicing gives the book it's own charm.
For me the 3/5 is a good solid score, that is entertaining above average, but still lacks a little in voice acting. The books biggest difficulty are the many characters you are introduces to, after hearing all the book, I got them correct placed, but it confused me a lot in the first 75% of the book.
I don't know whether it was misreading or some typos in the original source material, but the narrator says "yazuka" once, before saying the correct "yakuza" later in the book. Near the end he also says "casual link" where only "causal link" would make sense in the context. I found these mistakes distracting from an otherwise compelling story and voice performance.
The premise and scifi are engaging and entertaining. The blurring between reality, virtual reality and the potential for the human soul to be converted into software is exactly the reason why I am a scifi fan. But this book is too long. Long passages that added little to the story. By the end I did not care how it resolved I struggled to finish. Performance of the actor is very compelling. They capture the tone and voice of each character.
Punchline - good story in need of an editor
Action packed throughout
The overall concept is a fascinating one, - I won't offer any spoilers here, but has an interrsting take on inter-stellar travel and how to get around issues of time dilation
I bought the book when it first came out, following a good recommendation in SFX magazine, and its one heck of a read - on audio, its equally as entertaining
Very difficult to focus in on one scene when the entire book is so packed full or action and activity. One scene which I found unpleasant featured torture (if you're squeamish about eyes, watch out in the final two chapters , but it fit very well into the storyline
Well worth reading or listening to
Constantly introduced ideas about the future that are both believable and possible, I loved it!
Almost a steampunk version of l Ron Hubbard, with a touch of Brandon Sanderson!
An almost laconic laid back narration, that fits the almost reminiscence style of writing
Death is no longer final
"Hardboiled SF, not bad."
If you're going to show your influences so brazenly, they'd better be good. The strongest influence here is probably Neuromancer, which isn't a bad place to start. Altered Carbon isn't quite that good, but it is certainly enjoyable. You've got a murder mystery, a reluctant protagonist, and future-tech galore. Not bad at all.
The main character is a bit of a superman. His special training and augmentations mane him kind of invincible, so you're never really concerned for him. However, the worst part is probably a very cringe worthy sex scene early in the story. It did make me laugh, but I don't think it was meant to. Aside from a few other minor niggles, it is a decent little story, set in a very well-developed world.
The reader was ok, but the female voices were a bit weak and breathy. Not bad enough to put you off though.
"An excellent read"
It was such a relief to come across this book after weeks of listening to boring books and even more boring performers. The narration is excellent. Each character is well and properly portrayed. Todd is awesome. I would recommend it to all scifi fans
"Good sci-fi murder mystery novel."
With the book being a murder mystery, the point of the book is to learn what happens to the victim, unfortunately listening to the book again you would lose that aspect.
The unexpected encounters with characters. And the questions that you start to ask of yourself if you were in a similar position.
A good book overall that takes you on a journey through a short adventure in an investigators life, with hints of his character portrayed throughout. The more you learn of the investigator the more you want to know.
"A great action packed scifi"
I downloaded this book after finding it on someone's must read list. After about 5 minutes I realised that I had read the book already when it first came out in 2002 (doh). The fact that remembered so much detail after 13 years says something about the story (and something about my forgetfulness) . There's a lot of good story telling and some vivid imagery in book. It was well worth a second read. Action packed and great fun. Read it!
"high on tech, low on character"
I could not get on with this, the characters are just not likeable, what's a story without people you can like??
"Fantastically imagined future world"
This is a great SF book. The premise of digitally preserved human consciousness is brilliantly imagined. The author creates a vivid future world full of detail, and the plot is excellent; it will leave you guessing until the last chapter. Anyone who likes hard Sci-Fi will love this. Initially I found the slow drawl of the narrator a little annoying but after a while I really liked it as his tone and delivery suited the story very well.
"Recommend, but requires perseverance"
It's a long book, entirely told from the perspective of the protagonist. The story is well structured with plenty of twists and turns that keeps you guessing until the very end.
"Mike Hammer in a Dystopian Future"
First off this is more a detective/crime story than sci fi, the latter is very much scene setting and background. It is also very much in the penny/nickel book format that brought us Philip Marlow and Mike Hammer. The story is semi-predictable and follows the standard format that we'd expect for that genre, but as a result it really works.
The start is sci fi, but once it gets going, it's all gum shoe and is both well written and well read. It's not a truly great story, but the way Todd McLaren narrated it is superb - better than Stacy Keach's recent Mike Hammer audio recordings.
Certainly a great way to pass time and worth listening to you if you like this genre of story telling.
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