Jan 7, 2012

Broken Angels by Richard Morgan

Broken Angels

I read this book in the stupidest way possible and months ago, so keep that in mind when you read this. I got through the first third of the novel and then put it down to read something else and didn't go back to it for several weeks. You can put some stories on hold like that without losing too much ground, slipping easily back into plot and characters. This is not one of those stories. Too many names, motives, and locations, especially with all the body and space hopping that goes on. But it's a fun read and worth your attention, so learn from my mistake.

That being said, I repeat: fun read. Plenty of nifty little concepts, building seamlessly on the universe Morgan created for his main character Takeshi Kovacs in Altered Carbon. I continue to be both creeped out and fascinated by the concept of your consciousness being transportable or containable. When death is so survivable, true ending becomes even more horrific.

Once again, I thought I had the mystery solved fairly on and was happily surprised by the reveal. As a military novel, as a whodunit, and as cyberpunk adventure, Broken Angels succeeds for me. If I'd just gone cover to cover without that break, I might have wound up considering it one of my favorites from last year (and, believe it or not, I read quite a few books in 2011).

By the way, happy new year.


John M. said...

I did pretty much the same with Altered Carbon. My interests changed dramatically in the interim and there are still numerous holes in my memory.

I like Morgan, but his characters don't always etch themselves too clearly, for me anyway.

Happy New Year to you, as well.

downtown guy said...

Agreed on his characters. I think that has to do with all the bodies they go through. Hard to get much of a handle on them.

John M. said...

That's a very good point.

It's helpful to have a handle on something when you're being transported through these exotic realities.

I think we're still waiting on the "Great Dystopian Novel".

I was looking over your list again and was surprised to not find Lucifer's Hammer by Niven and Pournelle. I read that again a while back and really enjoyed it, a bit heavy going at times and not perfect, but overall very well rendered. More "immediate post-apocalypse" than dystopian.

downtown guy said...

That's why it's not on the list. I thew a few apocalypse novels in there just to break things up, but overall I really did want to concentrate on dystopian efforts.