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Thirteen | [Richard K. Morgan]

Thirteen

Marsalis is one of a new breed...literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth's distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back.
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Publisher's Summary

Marsalis is one of a new breed...literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth's distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man before a police sting landed him in prison - a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous.

Luckily, his "enhanced" life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in another fugitive. But this one is no common criminal. He's another Thirteen, one who's already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there's no question Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: can he remain sane and alive long enough to succeed?

©2007 Richard K. Morgan; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Stellar." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1152 )
5 star
 (397)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (477 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (474 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    John West Haven, UT, United States 01-22-13
    John West Haven, UT, United States 01-22-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a great book"
    What disappointed you about Thirteen?

    The story was not what I expected from Morgan. Just disappointed.


    What was most disappointing about Richard K. Morgan’s story?

    Not interesting


    How could the performance have been better?

    Not sure


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thirteen?

    Didn't finish


    Any additional comments?

    No longer getting any more books from this author

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Shults 12-03-12
    M. Shults 12-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    265
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing for me here..."

    I read and enjoyed Morgan's ALTERED CARBON, and picked this title thinking it would be another winner, but was very disappointed.

    My main discontent with THIRTEEN, was that I just couldn't find anything much to like or identify with in any of the characters. In the context of a glacially-paced 24+ hour unabridged listen, this book is a tough row to hoe. The plot was byzantine and far-fetched, and as it didn't involve any higher interest such as saving the world or curing an epidemic, there wasn't anything in the plot line to carry me past or through my (at best) indifference to the characters and their doings.

    The novel follows one of a group of genetically-modified professional super-killers called "Thirteens". Our protagonist is a Thirteen whose job it is to hunt other Thirteens. In the abstract, this is a perfectly good premise, but as written by Morgan, this becomes an interminable story of a thug running around bullying and threatening people; which I vainly hoped would lead somewhere before long.

    It didn't, and I eventually became offended when the plot, such as it was, required cheap devices to keep the story moving, I should say plodding along; such as when a "bad-guy" Thirteen confronts the protagonist Thirteen in a public tavern. The "bad-guy" 13, born, bred and highly, highly, highly trained as a ruthlessly efficient killing machine, monologues inexplicably for what must have been 10 pages; --rather than just pulling the trigger. This preposterously implausible inaction eventually (after a long, long swath of unbelievable speechifying) allows the protagonist to escape. Ugh, how cheesy! I wanted my money back right there.

    But wait there's more! There is also the constant irritation of Morgan's political and religious axe-grinding. He places his story in a future where the United States has shattered into pieces. Here again is a perfectly good premise, but Morgan fills it with political correctness on steroids, so the story positively (or I should say negatively) drips with contempt for Christians, Republicans, masculinity, nationalism, etc, etc. While this isn't wildly far fetched as our possible future, Morgan stacks his cards in such a gratuitously one-sided manner, and thrusts these cards in the readers face so repetitiously and at such length, as to annoy and offend, with what one can only surmise could be his self-indulgence of his political biases.

    I gave it a game effort, making it through about 20 hours, at which point I still hasn't found anything or anyone to root for, or anything else of enough interest to motivate me to continue listening.

    I can't recommend this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Sinclair San Antonio, TX 02-15-11
    Robert Sinclair San Antonio, TX 02-15-11

    ROS

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    10
    3
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    Overall
    "Long Ramblings and Mindless Dribble"

    Filter out all the "F" words and you'll cut the book by a third. The book reads like it was written by a male teen with a very limited vocabulary. Furthermore, there are aspects to the book that I felt were sacrilegious, such as using the term Jesus Land and resiting passages of scripture out of context. I have to admit, I didn't make it to the half way point, before abandoning the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rob 09-18-08
    rob 09-18-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    116
    ratings
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    211
    55
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    7
    6
    Overall
    "SLOWWWW!"

    Very slow, lots of dialogue. The action was good but there was very little of it. Stick with the Altered Carbon trilogy, which I highly recommend.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Phillips Kansas City 09-07-07
    Bruce Phillips Kansas City 09-07-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    14
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Boring"

    I liked the Altered Carbon series, but Morgan's latest novel Thirteen is just plain boring. If you like very, very long conversations about politics, race, genetics, and relationships then you might like this book.

    This was one of the few books I purchased on audible that I just could not finish. After listening through 3/4 of this book I just was tired of it and moved on.

    I really couldn't care about the characters and there was almost no suspense. A very boring story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BillNapoli 08-22-07
    BillNapoli 08-22-07 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    534
    11
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    5
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    Overall
    "Way too long!"

    I NEVER like abridged versions of a book, but this one SHOULD have been abridged. It went on and on and on and on. Each time I thought I would abandon going any further, something interesting enough would occur in the plot to keep me hanging in a bit longer. I finally made it to the end and, in retrospect now ask myself, "Why did I bother?" My recommendation--skip this one.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-06-07
    08-06-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1672
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Hum dee dum dee dum"

    Finished the book, not sure why? There was just enough intresting material to keep going. Just never really seemed to get past the authors adolescent veiw of life.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Mcgraw Lawrenceville, GA USA 07-16-09
    Paul Mcgraw Lawrenceville, GA USA 07-16-09 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    602
    13
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    0
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    Overall
    "Digusting!"

    Full of bigotry and prejudice towards Christians. Gratuitous vilence and foul language. Tedious plot. Cardboard characters.

    3 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 06-27-07
    Thomas 06-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
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    458
    22
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    "Not For Me!"

    If you are an American with a belief in God and that Jesus was the son of God then I suggest you forego purchasing this book. I’m not going to suggest that the literary prose is bad or that the author does not have a right to present this fiction in the manner he has, but I found the content highly inflammatory towards the United States and unacceptably biased towards the secular views of a what I suspect to be a large segment of the European Populace. I'm not an overly religious person as I haven't been to church since I was in my teens (I'm 57 now) but I do believe in God and the New Testament. I find offensive the term "Jesusland" as depicted by this author. I don't care if you're an Atheist or if you belong to some segment of Christianity that twirls snakes and speaks in tongues, the author is offensive towards the greatest Country in the history of mankind. I should point out that I've read many books by European Authors and I've never felt the need to express my negative opinion such as I have with this author.
    I will not purchase another book by this author.

    23 of 131 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Norman, OK, USA 07-17-07
    Sue Norman, OK, USA 07-17-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    52
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "FYI: Not"

    If you prefer your sci-fi without a huge amount of profanity this may not be the book for you. I was very disappointed in the juvenile language.

    4 of 31 people found this review helpful

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