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.
"Stellar." (Publishers Weekly)
I agree with Rusty. If you like the other books by this author, you will like this one too. His characters are complex mixtures of good and bad.
This book is a superb thriller. The story gets confusing with abrupt shifts of focus on various characters, but the action more than makes up for it. This is a novel of the future in about a century from now, when the fruits and price of the present genetic revolution have led to the technologies that form the basis of the book's characterization and plot. You can't stop listening. Well worth listening to more than once. The narrator does a fine job of conveying all the different personalities who are in conflict.
The first half of this book was very difficult to listen to. The author appears to paint a picture of the future whereby humans are unable to communicate without the use of massive amount of profanity laden speech. I'm not opposed to the use of profanity, but I found myself counting the uses of the words in one short segment and gave up after hitting 50 in less than 5 minutes. Entirely unnecessary!
The book finally picks up in the second half. Save yourself some time and skip straight to part II.
Very dissapointed! Every 5th word was "F***". Apparently this author has a very limited vocabulary. I could not get past the 1st half hour. I will be staying away from this author in the future!. Wish I could get my $ back.
I couldn't even finish the book... It just seem to drag on... I couldn't seem to maintain interest in the book.
Richard Morgan's best work. This is intelligent Sci Fi, with a good proportion of Sex and Violence-(Much more violence than sex, but that's life, isn't it?) The Narration is flawless, and each scene is so detailed, that the mind wanders to the imagery just as the action grabs you-There are well placed Rants against all kinds of prejudices, religions included- So, if you can't suffer hearing that someone doesn't believe in your religion, don't listen.
Morgan could turn this into his own version of Stephen King's Dark Tower, and he should! PS: The wife doesn't share my enthusiasm, she liked it, but I loved it!. Listened 4 or 5 times, and it's an ipod keeper!. Jack
While many people liked this book, I didn't. The science fiction elements could have been removed without much change to the overall book. Plus, it read like a bad R rated movie, with a lot of language. Plus rants against Christianity. I want to listen to a book, not a soapbox. I was relieved it was over.
The story was not what I expected from Morgan. Just disappointed.
No longer getting any more books from this author
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.
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.
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