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Welcome back to the brash, brutal new world of the twenty-fifth century: where global politics isn’t just for planet Earth anymore; and where death is just a break in the action, thanks to the techno-miracle that can preserve human consciousness and download it into one new body after another. Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private ey Welcome back to the brash, brutal new world of the twenty-fifth century: where global politics isn’t just for planet Earth anymore; and where death is just a break in the action, thanks to the techno-miracle that can preserve human consciousness and download it into one new body after another. Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private eye, has changed careers - and bodies - once more... trading sleuthing for soldiering as a warrior-for-hire, and helping a far-flung planet’s government put down a bloody revolution. But when it comes to taking sides, the only one Kovacs is ever really on is his own. So when a rogue pilot and a sleazy corporate fat cat offer him a lucrative role in a treacherous treasure hunt, he’s only too happy to go AWOL with a band of resurrected soldiers of fortune. All that stands between them and the ancient alien spacecraft they mean to salvage are a massacred city bathed in deadly radiation, unleashed nanotechnolgy with a million ways to kill, and whatever surprises the highly advanced Martian race may have in store. But armed with his genetically engineered instincts, and his trusty twin Kalashnikovs, Takeshi is ready to take on anything — and let the devil take whoever’s left behind.


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Welcome back to the brash, brutal new world of the twenty-fifth century: where global politics isn’t just for planet Earth anymore; and where death is just a break in the action, thanks to the techno-miracle that can preserve human consciousness and download it into one new body after another. Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private ey Welcome back to the brash, brutal new world of the twenty-fifth century: where global politics isn’t just for planet Earth anymore; and where death is just a break in the action, thanks to the techno-miracle that can preserve human consciousness and download it into one new body after another. Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private eye, has changed careers - and bodies - once more... trading sleuthing for soldiering as a warrior-for-hire, and helping a far-flung planet’s government put down a bloody revolution. But when it comes to taking sides, the only one Kovacs is ever really on is his own. So when a rogue pilot and a sleazy corporate fat cat offer him a lucrative role in a treacherous treasure hunt, he’s only too happy to go AWOL with a band of resurrected soldiers of fortune. All that stands between them and the ancient alien spacecraft they mean to salvage are a massacred city bathed in deadly radiation, unleashed nanotechnolgy with a million ways to kill, and whatever surprises the highly advanced Martian race may have in store. But armed with his genetically engineered instincts, and his trusty twin Kalashnikovs, Takeshi is ready to take on anything — and let the devil take whoever’s left behind.

30 review for Broken Angels

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A very different book from Altered Carbon. And not nearly as good. Is this one of those cases where a successful author isn't subject to as much editorial control? A difference that doesn't bother me is that Broken Angels is more SF and less murder mystery than Altered Carbon. But then there's the rest: 1. He has. This. Really annoying. Use. Of. Periods. To show pauses. Or something. Which is not only distracting but also makes it hard to parse. The sentences. Hey. Richard. Try an. Ellipsis. Or. A A very different book from Altered Carbon. And not nearly as good. Is this one of those cases where a successful author isn't subject to as much editorial control? A difference that doesn't bother me is that Broken Angels is more SF and less murder mystery than Altered Carbon. But then there's the rest: 1. He has. This. Really annoying. Use. Of. Periods. To show pauses. Or something. Which is not only distracting but also makes it hard to parse. The sentences. Hey. Richard. Try an. Ellipsis. Or. An em dash. Or maybe just let the reader figure out the subtleties of phrasing on their own, like most writers do. You're not writing stage direction. 2. The sex in the first book fit with the plot. The sex in the second book seemed more because the author wants to get his Kovacs character laid. I also get somewhat of an impression that the author is revealing his own appetites, which makes me uncomfortable. 3. The body count is just ridiculous. And that's not even counting the war in the background. 4. There's discontinuity. He's mooning over a character from Altered Carbon that he wasn't actually mooning over at the end of that book. Granted, Our Hero musing over lost love or the like may serve to offer character depth for a reader who didn't read the first book, but for me it was grating. Meh.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    This was a fantastic sequel to Altered Carbon. I find Morgan's writing to be super engaging and the story itself delivers a good mix of action, humor, and mystery while still giving the reader plenty of thought-provoking themes to ponder. The setting changed completely for this second instalment. Takeshi Kovacs found himself in a new sleeve and on a new world but still caught up in other peoples problems. Sanction IV is in the midst of a war as local fanatic Joshua Kemp and his supporters try to This was a fantastic sequel to Altered Carbon. I find Morgan's writing to be super engaging and the story itself delivers a good mix of action, humor, and mystery while still giving the reader plenty of thought-provoking themes to ponder. The setting changed completely for this second instalment. Takeshi Kovacs found himself in a new sleeve and on a new world but still caught up in other peoples problems. Sanction IV is in the midst of a war as local fanatic Joshua Kemp and his supporters try to overthrow the Protectorate and Corporation government on his planet. Kovacs is a lieutenant in the Wedge, a military mercenary unit, in the employ of the Protectorate and the local corporations. As well as the battle for control of the planet Takeshi finds himself ensnared in a bit of intrigue that might have far more reaching implications than just the battle to control one minor planet. The plot does not sound all that exciting but it actually was! Altered Carbon was a sci-fi noir mystery with an extra dose of action but the tone changed totally in Broken Angels. This started out feeling like a military sci-fi story before transitioning into a techno-thriller and then to a sci-fi horror story. I actually liked this rotating tone and felt like it kept the story both fresh and exciting. In terms of messages this book had a strong anti-religion, anti-war, and anti-capitalist theme to it. Weirdest of all, considering this is a sci-fi, I also felt like it had a strong anti-technology theme to it as well! I'm a fan of a lot of Morgan's various musing and observations on the topics he covers in his stories and the ones I disagree with do not overly hurt my enjoyment of the story. Morgan writes interesting and thought provoking sci-fi but never lets any of that stuff overwhelm either his characters or the story itself. As always I feel like Morgan got the balance spot on. This was a dark, gritty, cynical, and sometimes brutal story but it never got too bleak as Takeshi remains an easy guy to root for despite his flaws. His cynical outlook on life and wry humor lightened the tone at times and some of his actions provide moments where we can cheer for him! I loved the fact that Morgan fleshed out the worldbuilding a bit in this second instalment and we got to learn more about how humanity spread to the stars and the technology that made it possible. This story had a lot of the same flaws as the first one but none of them were significant enough to damage my enjoyment of the story. The most annoying flaws were the slightly misogynistic tinge to the story and the fact that any female character who gets significant enough page time seems to topple into Tak's bed. Some of my favourite quotes and passages: “Looks like we’ve really got Kemp on the run down there, doesn’t it?” “That’s an interesting point of view.” Visions of 391 platoon being cut to shreds around me cascaded briefly through my head. “Where do you think he’s going to run to? Bearing in mind this is his planet, I mean.” Tak's cynical humor makes him the sort of charming and witty anti-hero that I can easily root for. Religion is religion, however you wrap it, and like Quell says, a preoccupation with the next world pretty clearly signals an inability to cope credibly with this one. The Quell sayings are always fun! “I thought that was what religion was. Simplification for the hard of thinking.” He smiled. “If that is the case, then the hard of thinking seem to be in a majority, do they not?” “They always are.” Cynical Tak is my sort of guy:) Even the sunlight is a solid fusillade of subatomic particles, blasting apart anything that hasn’t evolved the appropriate levels of protection, which of course every living thing around here has because its distant ancestors died in their millions so that a handful of survivors could develop the necessary mutational traits.” “All peace is an illusion, huh? Over my head, the Martian gazed blankly down at us. As far removed as any angel, and as much help. Those last two are in just because they are the sort of wry darkly cynical observations that make this such a fun book to read. All in all I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to getting to the third book in the series. I'm already confident that the Takeshi Kovacs series ranks up there with my other favourite sci-fi series. Rating: 4.5 stars. I'm definitely rounding up to 5 stars as this was very engaging! Audio Note: I thought Todd McLaren gave a good performance of the audio. He gets the tone and humor in the story and his voice is a perfect fit for Takeshi. I even think I've gotten used to his female character voices! Pity the 3rd instalment is getting a new narrator.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Broken Angels is a vastly different book to the first Takeshi Kovacs novel, Altered Carbon. Where Altered Carbon read like a futuristic noir, focusing on a sci-fi murder mystery, the sequel (set fifty years after) reads like military sci-fi with exploration into the evolutionary Martian warfare at the forefront. Whilst I enjoyed the book, there are a lot of characters in Broken Angeles and a lot of scheming, double and triple crosses, and semi-political/corporate backstabbing which was hard to gr Broken Angels is a vastly different book to the first Takeshi Kovacs novel, Altered Carbon. Where Altered Carbon read like a futuristic noir, focusing on a sci-fi murder mystery, the sequel (set fifty years after) reads like military sci-fi with exploration into the evolutionary Martian warfare at the forefront. Whilst I enjoyed the book, there are a lot of characters in Broken Angeles and a lot of scheming, double and triple crosses, and semi-political/corporate backstabbing which was hard to grasp at time. Even after finishing the book, I’m still not all that sure I’m certain which side Kovacs pledges allegiance. My rating: 4/5 stars. Not quite a sci-fi epic but still a deep and complex space opera which brings back the familiar concepts of Altered Carbon while unveiling a whole new playground of stars to explore.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    This book is just a punishing read. It checks all the right boxes: Cool future military technology, deadly mercenaries with cynical attitudes, evil corporate execs, radioactive battlefields, deadly nanotech, mysterious and powerful remains of an advanced alien race, double- and triple-crosses, and an utterly jaded, highly skilled Envoy/spy/super-soldier who literally blasts his way out of every situation, but feels appropriately regretful after creating a pile of corpses (or sometimes just a spr This book is just a punishing read. It checks all the right boxes: Cool future military technology, deadly mercenaries with cynical attitudes, evil corporate execs, radioactive battlefields, deadly nanotech, mysterious and powerful remains of an advanced alien race, double- and triple-crosses, and an utterly jaded, highly skilled Envoy/spy/super-soldier who literally blasts his way out of every situation, but feels appropriately regretful after creating a pile of corpses (or sometimes just a spray of gore on the ground and walls). I definitely liked the crime noir mystery aspects of his first Takeshi Kovacs book Altered Carbon, but this entry changes the setting and is if possible ever more grim and hyper-violent than the first, while managing to be less interesting at the same time. The author seems to be trying very hard to show us there are no innocents in war and industrial espionage, and well, I think we knew that already. And while Takeshi is still an interesting protagonist, his world-weary attitude started to wear on me too. I mean, if I had killed as many people as him and changed sides as often, and also been killed myself a dozen times, perhaps I wouldn't care about much either. But that doesn't make for an enjoyable story. Right now I'm feeling in the mood for something a bit more fun but still space opera, like Old Man's War or a Miles Vorkosigan novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I truly didn't have a clue what I was getting into when I started this second book in the Kovacs trilogy. Altered Carbon was a VERY different beast. That being said, we pick up with Kovacs thirty years after his reawakening on Earth and he's far down his lonesome path, giving up on private eye stuff and giving up his free will to join a war. An ongoing war that's either economics or ongoing economics by other means, that is. Give him something bloody to bite into and he's happy enough. It certain I truly didn't have a clue what I was getting into when I started this second book in the Kovacs trilogy. Altered Carbon was a VERY different beast. That being said, we pick up with Kovacs thirty years after his reawakening on Earth and he's far down his lonesome path, giving up on private eye stuff and giving up his free will to join a war. An ongoing war that's either economics or ongoing economics by other means, that is. Give him something bloody to bite into and he's happy enough. It certainly doesn't hurt that his particular Envoy training gets him all the best gigs and privileges. But is this a hard-bitten war novel? It certainly seems to be, with the wrinkle of easy sleeving into new flesh and the bitter by-line of corporations versus colonial governments. But. Add an ancient civilization, the one that we stole the tech that turned us all into immortals, a fantastic find, and then turn it into an exploratory heist novel with enormous opportunities for cross and double-cross, and we've suddenly gone into great hardcore SF territory. Kovacs is still fantastic and Morgan has a talent turning out complicated and memorable characters up and down the line. I felt sad for each death. And what beautiful deaths they were. This was some harsh territory filled with great mysteries. Kovac's intuition still runs as hot as his hallucinatory madness. Few hard-SF novels are quite as memorable as this one, but that's more a feature of the characters than anything else. I've read some really amazing epics. Even so, this one is deeply satisfying and a winner on nearly all levels. It IS NOT anything like a repeat of the first. Get that expectation out of the way and I'm sure everyone's enjoyment will be very high. :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lightreads

    The misplaced titles game: Broken Angels ought to be the title of some rancidly sweet early twentieth century morality tale of former prostitutes finding God in a halfway house. In reality, it’s a psychopathically violent pseudomilitary skiffy tale of humans mucking about in the remains of the long-gone Martian civilization; the entire main cast spends about two-thirds of this book dying in agony from radiation sickness, and the remaining third poking into their consciences and not liking what t The misplaced titles game: Broken Angels ought to be the title of some rancidly sweet early twentieth century morality tale of former prostitutes finding God in a halfway house. In reality, it’s a psychopathically violent pseudomilitary skiffy tale of humans mucking about in the remains of the long-gone Martian civilization; the entire main cast spends about two-thirds of this book dying in agony from radiation sickness, and the remaining third poking into their consciences and not liking what they find. It’s actually pretty funny in places. Okay, sold. I liked this psychological splatterfest quite a lot. It’s perhaps the first book I’ve ever read that successfully conveyed the wonder and existential horror of finding yourself a tiny wriggling human in the remains of a civilization millions of times older and wiser and more advanced. And the more important thing: like Altered Carbon, this is a book about people as meat. Meat that panics and fights and fucks and dies. Meat that thinks, sure, and connects, and cares. But the thinking is just nerve impulses moving fast enough to get a tiny bit meta on themselves, and the connection’s just an evolutionary necessity. This is a series whose protagonist has rewired his empathy and emotional reactions so much that he can really get at the truth of what he is: thinking meat. And the reason I think that’s cool is that it’s fucking cool. All those people – including scientists, and it’s a surprising lot of them – who believe in an animist theory of consciousness are missing the point, I think. Because if you pin these guys down and say, “okay, but why do you really think there’s some ethereal unmeasurable thing that is us? Why isn’t it just nerve impulses?” They’ll squint at you and say, “well, there has to be. I mean, it can’t just be nerve impulses, how is that possible?” I think a lot of animists are animists for the sensawunda. The way to be amazed at how unbelievably cool we are. And I think that’s missing the point. You think some woo-woo force field you can’t see or measure or explain or even agree on naming is cool? I think it’s the other way around. I think the fact that our consciences and empathy and dreams are just nerve impulses is amazing. That gets my sensawunda going like nothing else ever has or probably will. I mean, existential awareness arising out of biology. How does it do that? That is the most incredible thing. Um, anyway. Needless to say, Richard K. Morgan is not an animist. And his crunchy skiffy is all about this stuff, under the blood baths and the space horror. And I really dig that.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Broken Angels is the follow-up to Altered Carbon, the novel that put Richard K. Morgan on the map, a fusion of Blade Runner noir and far future hard science tied together with a skull slamming narrative. Broken Angels is available in two unique editions: Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies Lettered: 26 signed lettered copies, leather bound, housed in a custom tray case This hardcover edition is marked PC of 500 edition produced, and is signed by Richard K. Morgan with a smiley face drawing Broken Angels is the follow-up to Altered Carbon, the novel that put Richard K. Morgan on the map, a fusion of Blade Runner noir and far future hard science tied together with a skull slamming narrative. Broken Angels is available in two unique editions: Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies Lettered: 26 signed lettered copies, leather bound, housed in a custom tray case This hardcover edition is marked PC of 500 edition produced, and is signed by Richard K. Morgan with a smiley face drawing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Efka

    I'm not really sure if this book can really be called "a second part of trilogy". I mean, a trilogy, how I perceive it, is three books, three parts of a single story, unified by one or more main characters, usually plus some secondary characters and a consistant plotline, which, more or less, starts at the first book, later evolves and the final part brings a closure. I might be jumping ahead too much, as I'm already reading the third book, though my review is only about the second one but still I'm not really sure if this book can really be called "a second part of trilogy". I mean, a trilogy, how I perceive it, is three books, three parts of a single story, unified by one or more main characters, usually plus some secondary characters and a consistant plotline, which, more or less, starts at the first book, later evolves and the final part brings a closure. I might be jumping ahead too much, as I'm already reading the third book, though my review is only about the second one but still. There's nothing in this book, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AND NO-ONE, that has at least remote connection to the "Altered Carbon", except Takeshi Covacs. And even he is a middle aged afroamerican/caribbean dude in this book. It's a perfect stand-alone novel, this one, and the third book is a pre-history. So, as far as the story goes, it is quite safe to say that the story starts and finishes with Altered Carbon. Sort of. Now a few words about the book itself. It's a slower read than the first one, it gets too concentrated on minor details at one point around the middle, and the story is much, much less noir detective. Actually, it's more alike to a military sci-fi than a noir detective, but the plot is decent enough to tag along for a ride and in the end it grips you quite well. I might have enjoyed more answers/explanations, but they weren't necessary and not getting them served on a plate doesn't actually matter. Takeshi is still Takeshi, but what I really liked is the fun feeling, that Richard Morgan is a pacifist. I've got a few drops of this feeling while reading Altered Carbon, but as this book is much more concentrated on military, rebellions and war in general, no wonder that I've felt it much more in this book. So yeah, the dude who writes all that gory murder and torture sequences is a pacifist. Quite an oxymoron, wouldn't you agree? "Broken Angels" might not have that glitter and appeal of its predecessor, but it is a solid book nevertheles, and if you enjoyed the first book of the series, this one should definitely be on you list too. A solid 4*.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    Indeed, this was very different from Altered Carbon, as many of my GR friends said before. And I had to get used to it. But maybe because I read A.C. a couple of years before, this wasn't too painful of a process. Although maybe - just maybe - I was a tad more into cyberpunk noir than into this kind of story, which seems more like a traditional hard sci-fi. Nonetheless I really liked it. It had some "Aliens" flavour, which I can only welcome and surprisingly it also reminded me of the latest ins Indeed, this was very different from Altered Carbon, as many of my GR friends said before. And I had to get used to it. But maybe because I read A.C. a couple of years before, this wasn't too painful of a process. Although maybe - just maybe - I was a tad more into cyberpunk noir than into this kind of story, which seems more like a traditional hard sci-fi. Nonetheless I really liked it. It had some "Aliens" flavour, which I can only welcome and surprisingly it also reminded me of the latest installments in "Leviathan Wakes" series. Just a little reminder - this was written a bit earlier than Leviathan series started. Action packed story, smartassing mercenaries and Kovacs, whom I keep in rank of my fav male characters - beautiful combo. And let's not forget about Martians!!! (I almost did...) I'm a bit upset that I haven't read it earlier.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kelsey

    Not great, or really even passably decent. While Altered Carbon was pretty poorly written too, it at least had a really interesting mystery that unfolded over the course of the book. This one had exactly one interesting thing that was barely explored. It's an action heavy book, that is remarkably low on action. The characters are flat, the dialogue is cringey, the sex scenes are "niceguy" fantasies, and the story is so simplistic that if you just took out all of the times Kovacs talks endlessly a Not great, or really even passably decent. While Altered Carbon was pretty poorly written too, it at least had a really interesting mystery that unfolded over the course of the book. This one had exactly one interesting thing that was barely explored. It's an action heavy book, that is remarkably low on action. The characters are flat, the dialogue is cringey, the sex scenes are "niceguy" fantasies, and the story is so simplistic that if you just took out all of the times Kovacs talks endlessly about his neurochem conditioning and his wolf gene splicing, the book could easily have been around 100 pages instead of 350. Am I still going to read the third one? Probably, because there is still potential for the story to be the highly engaging, mysterious, noir thriller variety that Altered Carbon was. We'll see.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.5 to 5.0 stars. Great follow up to Altered Carbon. The Takeshi Kovacs novels are original, inventive, high octane SF at its best. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    MadProfessah

    Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels have a stellar reputation among hard core science fiction fans. I have previously enjoyed reading Morgan's first book in the series, the exciting Altered Carbon , which introduces the Takeshi Kovacs character to the world. In the second book Broken Angels , Morgan puts Kovacs in another compelling and very dangerous situation, while still maintaining the character's unlikeability. The themes of the first book, explicit sexuality, corporate greed, capit Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels have a stellar reputation among hard core science fiction fans. I have previously enjoyed reading Morgan's first book in the series, the exciting Altered Carbon , which introduces the Takeshi Kovacs character to the world. In the second book Broken Angels , Morgan puts Kovacs in another compelling and very dangerous situation, while still maintaining the character's unlikeability. The themes of the first book, explicit sexuality, corporate greed, capitalist malfeasance, dangerous technological advances, and dehumanizing violence, all return in even greater amounts in the sequel. Altered Carbon made Richard Morgan seem like the second coming of Dashiell Hammett with Takeshi Kovacs a 24th century Sam Spade, like a cross between Blade Runner and The Maltese Falcon. I am chosing movies to relate Morgan's book to on purpose. Although Broken Angels is very different from Altered Carbon, it is also so vividly written that the story has substantial cinematic potential. It really seems like it is only a matter of when, not if, we will see major motion pictures based on the works of Richard K. Morgan. The story this time begins with Kovacs as a mercenary fighting in a civil war on a planet called Sanction IV, as part of a unit called Carrera's Wedge which is helping a company called the Mandrake Corporation achieve its goals during a bloody, planet-wide, military conflict. One of the basic tenets of Broken Angels is that war is commerce conducted by other means (and vice versa!) Kovacs leaves his unit when he meets Jan Schneider, who says he needs help for a scheme to smuggle an ancient Martian treasure off-world. In order to make their score they need to break out an archaeologist named Tanya Wardani, which Kovacs does and then enlists a mid-level executive named Matthias Hand at the Mandrake Corporation to finance the logistics of the retrieval operation, which of course have to occur dead smack in the middle of the war zone. The story turns into a cross between Raiders of the Lost Ark and (the first exploration-heavy hour of) Alien. Again, as in the first book, the most important draw is Kovacs, with his near-superhuman reflexes and situational loyalty. Kovacs find and trains an elite team of experienced warriors to go on the expedition with him, but really the only person in the team that we care about is Kovacs. Kovacs protests (too much) that he only cares about his survival as well but his actions belie this expressed belief. Morgan's action scenes are another highlight of the book, especially when told from Kovacs’ perspective and internal monologue. Broken Angels is a memorable entry into the genre of hard-core, hard-bitten military science fiction by another talented British writer. Fans of Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds (which includes yours truly) will be thrilled to discover another author who possesses their similar adeptness at creating rich, believable future worlds peopled with intelligent characters fighting battles against powerful (and sometimes alien) forces. Title: Broken Angels. Author: Richard K. Morgan Length: 384 pages. Publisher: Del Rey. Published: March 2, 2004. OVERALL GRADE: A (4.0/4.0). PLOT: A+. IMAGERY: A. IMPACT: A-. WRITING: A.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Sven

    Takeshi Kovacs is back in black (literally) and badasserer than ever. Also back is narrator Todd Mclaren who gave a solid audio performance. I can't imagine anyone else as the voice of Kovacs. I don't know how I'd like him for other books but he has been a good fit for this series so far. This book pretty much reads as a standalone. You don't need to read the first book at all to enjoy this and pick up what's going on. It's a completely different story. Completely different sub genre even. Where Takeshi Kovacs is back in black (literally) and badasserer than ever. Also back is narrator Todd Mclaren who gave a solid audio performance. I can't imagine anyone else as the voice of Kovacs. I don't know how I'd like him for other books but he has been a good fit for this series so far. This book pretty much reads as a standalone. You don't need to read the first book at all to enjoy this and pick up what's going on. It's a completely different story. Completely different sub genre even. Where Altered Carbon has been described as Hardboiled/Noir Cyberpunk, this book is more Military Sci-Fi/Cyberpunk with a hint of Space Opera. In many ways Broken Angels reminds me a lot of Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space books. There's a derelict spaceship, an extinct avian alien culture with bits of alien tech strewn across the galaxy. There's the question of what happened to them? There's the concept of immortality by digitizing consciousness. Yep - if you took Alastair Reynolds and overdosed him on testosterone and jacked him up on tetrameth (add a lot of swearing and two overly long sex scenes) you would get Broken Angels. Where Reynolds would use understated hints of violence and build to a crescendo to get the blood pumping - the first hint of violence Morgan gives you is when you're ducking the body parts after your buddy's been hit with explosive plasma rounds or when you're wearing the goup that used to be your partner. This story is set some 30 years after the events of Altered Carbon on the war ravaged planet Sanction IV. Kovacs has hired himself out to the side with the most attractive fringe benefits and afterlife policy. hooking up with the mercenary company Carera's Wedge, the Protectorates heavy hitters, where they stick him in a combat sleeve with state of the art military Neurochem and lets not forget the Wedge special - Wolf Splice Gene, earning Kovacs the nickname Wedge Wolf. Of course, the only person Kovacs really works for is Kovacs and when he gets the offer of a lifetime to help stake a claim on the alien artefact find of the millenium, he's not adverse to taking his dual Kalashnikov pistols and going AWOL. The mission, too big to do on his own, requires a crack team. But a team of specialists who aren't otherwise occupied in the war are in short supply among the living. Kovacs will have to call on the dead, paying a visit to the Soul Market, where the countless cortical stacks, scavenged from the battlefield and freshly peeled from the spines of warriors and civilians alike, are sold by the kilo. Ghosts hired to root around in haunted remains of an alien civilization. But aliens have there own ghosts too. 5 stars. Altered Carbon Review Revelation Space Review

  14. 5 out of 5

    সালমান হক

    Not as exciting as the first one. Plenty of unnecessary sex scenes. In altered carbon the scenes were there for the plot, but this time.... meh. Nevertheless a pretty good read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    I didn't think this was a good follow up to Altered Carbon, a book I really liked. In it, Takeshi Kovacs is a 25th century ex-military noir detective who has been resleeved (lived quite a few lives) and who solves a murder/suicide mystery. It's a good tale. I expected more of the same. Now, in a sequel, you do expect the author to deviate a LITTLE from the original, or it'd be more of the same. Same with music. But this? In Broken Angels, Takeshi Kovacs is a mercenary who is persuaded to become I didn't think this was a good follow up to Altered Carbon, a book I really liked. In it, Takeshi Kovacs is a 25th century ex-military noir detective who has been resleeved (lived quite a few lives) and who solves a murder/suicide mystery. It's a good tale. I expected more of the same. Now, in a sequel, you do expect the author to deviate a LITTLE from the original, or it'd be more of the same. Same with music. But this? In Broken Angels, Takeshi Kovacs is a mercenary who is persuaded to become a ... mercenary to find some leftover Martian garbage that may or may not be worth a fortune. And he has to do it in a nuclear war zone. Pretty different from the first. And he's changed in this book. He's darker. He's more introspective. Not necessarily bad things -- just different. Also the sex is different. In the first book, it fit the plot. In this book, you get the most ridiculous sex scene that's perhaps ever been written, in VR no less. Stupid. The sex scenes seem forced and I didn't like them. They also all seem boilerplate to me. All of the women do all of the same things in exactly the same order to Kovacs, I guess exactly as Morgan likes in real life. Gag. I didn't finish this book. It wasn't exactly terrible. I just started reading other books and set it down. After it had been on my table for a month, I realized I just was no longer interested, so I'm giving up on it. 'Fraid I can't recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John McDermott

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Altered Carbon was better but Broken Angels was still a terrific Sci-fi thriller. In Takeshi Kovacs second outing ,it finds him 50 years on in another sleeve serving in a mercenary unit. Whereas Altered Carbon was a hard boiled detective noir Broken Angels is more of a military sci-fi/heist novel. Kovacs is a brilliant character ; the very definition of an anti-hero ,and yet, in this book shows a welcome compassionate streak. Broken Angels is written with Richard Morgan's customary energy and sk Altered Carbon was better but Broken Angels was still a terrific Sci-fi thriller. In Takeshi Kovacs second outing ,it finds him 50 years on in another sleeve serving in a mercenary unit. Whereas Altered Carbon was a hard boiled detective noir Broken Angels is more of a military sci-fi/heist novel. Kovacs is a brilliant character ; the very definition of an anti-hero ,and yet, in this book shows a welcome compassionate streak. Broken Angels is written with Richard Morgan's customary energy and skill delivering on all the things we have come to expect from him, i.e; ultra violent and sexually explicit. Very good indeed and very much looking forward to seeing it on Netflix at the end of the month.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    While not as good as Altered Carbon, this still has enough going on to be interesting. It's more a creepy ghost story than a mystery, and for a while there's some excellent suspense - Who might be sabotaging the crew from within? Who might come out from the other side of that Martian gate? And what will those crazy nanobots think of next? Be forwarned, though, that herein lies the absolute worst sex scene that has ever been put to paper. The fact that is takes place in virtual reality is no excu While not as good as Altered Carbon, this still has enough going on to be interesting. It's more a creepy ghost story than a mystery, and for a while there's some excellent suspense - Who might be sabotaging the crew from within? Who might come out from the other side of that Martian gate? And what will those crazy nanobots think of next? Be forwarned, though, that herein lies the absolute worst sex scene that has ever been put to paper. The fact that is takes place in virtual reality is no excuse.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Takeshi Kovacs knew the dame was trouble from the moment he met her ... Of course, in Broken Angels the dame in question doesn't come slinking into his 1940s gumshoe office; instead, as the story opens Takeshi and some, um, associates have been hired to retrieve the dame in question, Tanya Wardani, from a prison camp. Wardani's an archaeologue, see, and there's this alien artifact in a cave ... This is a very different book than Altered Carbon -- Altered Carbon was a consciously noir mystery set Takeshi Kovacs knew the dame was trouble from the moment he met her ... Of course, in Broken Angels the dame in question doesn't come slinking into his 1940s gumshoe office; instead, as the story opens Takeshi and some, um, associates have been hired to retrieve the dame in question, Tanya Wardani, from a prison camp. Wardani's an archaeologue, see, and there's this alien artifact in a cave ... This is a very different book than Altered Carbon -- Altered Carbon was a consciously noir mystery set amongst the gleaming spires and neon-littered slums of 26th Century Earth; Broken Angels takes place some 30 years later on a distant, war-torn planet and is basically a mixture of military SF and alien discovery -- like if the monolith from 2001, instead of being on the Moon, had been hidden somewhere in the Mekong River delta circa 1972. Kovacs is the only returning character from the first book, and even he's in an entirely different body. As you'd expect, archaeologue in tow, they recruit a team of professional trouble-solvers to accompany them to the dig; as you'd expect, things go horribly, horribly wrong ... I did enjoy this book; partially because of its very deliberate contrast to the first book; partially because it actually filled in a lot of details about Kovacs' world (especially the "Martians" whose abandoned bits of tech we've found lying around on many worlds) and because I just like Kovacs' narrative voice. (Even if I suspect the man himself would be a bit of a dick.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bram

    Nothing like its predecessor, story-wise, this follow-up on Takeshi Kovacs is nonetheless a brutal adrenaline-fueled ride from start to finish and a worthy successor to Altered Carbon. Story Where Altered Carbon was a noir detective/mystery romp set on Earth in the far future, with a lot of local intrigue and a personal vendetta mixed in for good fun, Broken Angels throws us smack in the middle of an orange/blue world, torn apart by civil war, despots and corporate greed. In the midst of all this, Nothing like its predecessor, story-wise, this follow-up on Takeshi Kovacs is nonetheless a brutal adrenaline-fueled ride from start to finish and a worthy successor to Altered Carbon. Story Where Altered Carbon was a noir detective/mystery romp set on Earth in the far future, with a lot of local intrigue and a personal vendetta mixed in for good fun, Broken Angels throws us smack in the middle of an orange/blue world, torn apart by civil war, despots and corporate greed. In the midst of all this, we see Kovacs essentially deserting to chase an objective more interesting than getting torn to shreds again and again by incompetent orders from incompetent commanders. I really love how, throughout the entire story, there's this ongoing, underlying (and sometimes front and center) critique on corporations driving wars and how profit changes people, mixed in with a little critique on religion here and there and some great sex scenes to top it off. All this makes for an interesting political and philosophical question. There's some great little tidbits in here, like this one, on self-righteous despots: “Kemp is a crusader,” he said finally. “He has surrounded himself with others like him. And crusaders do not generally see sense until they are nailed to it. The Kempists will have to be defeated, bloodily and resoundingly, before they can be brought to the negotiating table.” or this tidbit, on religion: The difference between virtuality and life is very simple. In a construct you know everything is being run by an all-powerful machine. Reality doesn’t offer this assurance, so it’s very easy to develop the mistaken impression that you’re in control. There's also this funny exposé: Bradbury, 2089 precolonial reckoning. The founder-heroes of human antiquity are exposed for the pig-ignorant mall bullies they probably always were, as decoding of the first Martian datasystems brings in evidence of a starfaring culture at least as old as the whole human race. The millennial knowledge out of Egypt and China starts to look like a ten-year-old child’s bedroom datastack. The wisdom of the ages shredded at a stroke into the pipe-cooked musings of a bunch of canal-dive barflies. Lao-tzu, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muhammad—what did these guys know? Parochial locals, never even been off the planet. Where were they when the Martians were crossing interstellar space? Of course—a sour grin out of one corner of Wardani’s mouth—established religion lashed back. The usual strategies. Incorporate the Martians into the scheme of things, scour the scriptures or make up some new ones, reinterpret. Failing that, lacking the gray matter for that much effort, just deny the whole thing as the work of evil forces and firebomb anyone who says otherwise. That ought to work. That shit had me laughing a loud for 5 straight minutes. Make no mistake, all the philosophical pandering  aside, this is just as brutal as Altered Carbon was, if not more so. Takeshi still has a tendency to fuck everything that's female and comes a little too close (okay, granted, there are only 2 sex scenes, but both of them took the better part of 30 minutes on the audiobook, a whole bloody chapter every time!), just like he manages to constantly get into situations that only get unfucked when he starts fucking others up (In summary, there's a lot of 'fucking' going around). Characters Takeshi is still as cynical, and likeable as ever, as he relentlessly drives the narrative with his dogged style, short temper and quick trigger finger. Luckily we are again treated to a cast of bad-ass motherfuckers to round the assortment out. All of whom manage to make an impression, even if most of them get killed in increasingly spectacular fashions. Memorable AF and ensuring that there's never a dull moment. I particularly liked Hand as a character, because he was very consistent. A jackass / asshole / dickhead, yes, but a very consistent one. World-building Universe building is quite solid, with some background on the recent history of mankind, how they managed to find and colonize multiple habitable planets in such short order and a LOT of background on the Martians, that came before us. I loved this aspect and hope that it continues in Woken Furies. Writing Morgans writing is solid, so solid in fact, that you hardly notice it, while still being eloquent, elegant (or harsh when needed). Whenever I was reading, I felt immersed in the world, and I had to actually force myself to pay attention to the writing to see how fluently it moves. There's some really nice gems in here, stuff you might read over, but which fulfills its function incredibly well and gets the message across much better than I'm at reviewing. This one, e.g stood out to me because of it's brutal honesty and simplicity while still managing to carry a ton of meaning: The air was stiff with the uncomprehending silence that serves males as a function of grief. Conclusion This book is funny as hell, savage andbrutal, insightful and philosophical and all of those traits are executed very well to make a nice blend of cyberpunk dark sci-fi. 5 easy stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    C.T. Phipps

    http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/15... Broken Angels is the second novel of the Takeshi Kovacs series. Whereas Altered Carbon was a future noir detective story in the future, Broken Angels is a war picture. Even the decades change with Altered Carbon feeling vaguely 1940s-like, Broken Angels feels like it takes place in a pseudo-Vietnam. I was initially disappointed to see none of the original cast was returning from the first book but Takeshi himself and that this took place no less than thirt http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/15... Broken Angels is the second novel of the Takeshi Kovacs series. Whereas Altered Carbon was a future noir detective story in the future, Broken Angels is a war picture. Even the decades change with Altered Carbon feeling vaguely 1940s-like, Broken Angels feels like it takes place in a pseudo-Vietnam. I was initially disappointed to see none of the original cast was returning from the first book but Takeshi himself and that this took place no less than thirty years later. I really became fond of Detective Ortega, the Bancrofts, and other characters as well as the Pulp-ish mood. Still, I was willing to give the novel a shot and am glad I did. Broken Angels' premise is Takeshi Kovacs is now a Lieutenant in the private military company of Carrera's Wedges. He's well-liked by everyone, which is somewhat mystifying since he's an absolutely awful military commander who snubs the men under his command as well as his superiors constantly. Blame it on Envoy training, I guess. After a particularly nasty battle, he's approached by a pilot named Schneider who claims to have a lead on a intact Martian spaceship that could elevate humanity's technological capacity by centuries. Forming a ragtag bunch of misfits from soldiers waiting to be re-sleeved (essentially, resurrected), he rescues a lovely archaeologist from a prison camp and heads after the ultimate prize. It's a good book, halfway between Three Kings and Apocalypse Now in Space. However, it does have one flaw: Takeshi Kovacs is a completely unlikable *******. It's always a balance with antiheroes as you never want to make them so awful the audience doesn't care what happens to them or too good as it costs them their edge. Here, Takeshi's actions really undermine the idea we should give a **** what happens to him. His constant betrayals, put-downs of anyone who believes in anything, and the fact he's solely motivated by money in an exceptionally brutal civil war make you question why we should care whether he succeeds or not. By the end, when he's engaged in a murderous rampage of retribution, I was actually hoping someone grabbed his stack (cybernetic memory recorder) and fried it. Personally, I don't think Richard Morgan meant to create a villain protagonist but I think he successfully did so. I don't mind a good villain protagonist either which is part of what I think the point of this book is. To quote J.R.R Tolkien: "We were all orcs in the Great War." Takeshi Kovacs just wants out of the conflict on Sanction IV and he's willing to kill anybody he has to in order to do it. That's perhaps not the most sympathetic of goals but it is certainly an understandable one. Richard K. Morgan has a engrossing horrific vision of war in the future. The savagery of conflict coupled with new and terrifying technological devices. It's a sobering idea that you can have a massive technological like the corporations and their mercenaries do but none of this will make the slightest bit of difference if the enemy is sufficiently determined. Neither side is portrayed as justified with atrocities having built up on both sides. The characters are all well-developed with the only problem I had being it was sometimes difficult to keep up with all of them thanks to the large number of Takeshi's recruits. I will say the romance, if you can call it that, between Takeshi and Tanya is more compelling than the one between Takeshi and Kristan Ortega in the original novel. After rescuing her from the prison camp, Takeshi manages to help treat her PTSD with Envoy techniques but it results in her falling in a mixture of love and lust with him. We get to see how sex is affected by perfectly simulated virtual reality as well as how mutable loyalties can be with Envoy training. I also think she was an extremely compelling character and ranks with the religious corporate Matthias Hand as two of my favorites in the series. Do I recommend this book as much as Altered Carbon? Not quite. I think it has some benefits over the original like better sex scenes and a more powerful backdrop with the war but Takeshi is less likable in this environment while the other characters tend to be sleazier. In a very real way, solving a Methuselah's murder is more compelling than finding a lost piece of Martian space junk. Still, I very much enjoyed the book and am glad I read it. 9/10

  21. 5 out of 5

    William

    15% good stuff, just enough to keep you plowing sadly on to the dull ending. Even the final firefight seems long-winded. After the first Takeshita book, Altered Carbon, I had hoped Morgan had acquired some better pacing and self-editing, but no. This one is even more self-indulgent and disappointing. And worst of all, we see no growth in Takeshi's character or motives. Here he's just a brutal killer with even less regard for truth or justice than before. There are more hints of how the story mig 15% good stuff, just enough to keep you plowing sadly on to the dull ending. Even the final firefight seems long-winded. After the first Takeshita book, Altered Carbon, I had hoped Morgan had acquired some better pacing and self-editing, but no. This one is even more self-indulgent and disappointing. And worst of all, we see no growth in Takeshi's character or motives. Here he's just a brutal killer with even less regard for truth or justice than before. There are more hints of how the story might have developed in the long wordy and sad denouement in the final chapter or so, that could have been expanded back into the body of the main plot to generate some wonder, but this has been discarded and trashed. Ugh Not sure I will read any more Morgan at all. If you loved the first Takeshita book, don't spoil it by reading this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ryan

    Body-hopping secret agent Takeshi Kovacs traverses a less-than perfect pan- galactic future where identities can be recorded and transferred from one genetically engineered ‘sleeve’ to another. The second novel from the master of SF-noir is an intelligent high-tech actioner expanding the world first seen in Altered Carbon. High-tech weaponry, military jargon and firefights abound, but there is an important question arising from all the carnage: does identity have any meaning or even worth when i Body-hopping secret agent Takeshi Kovacs traverses a less-than perfect pan- galactic future where identities can be recorded and transferred from one genetically engineered ‘sleeve’ to another. The second novel from the master of SF-noir is an intelligent high-tech actioner expanding the world first seen in Altered Carbon. High-tech weaponry, military jargon and firefights abound, but there is an important question arising from all the carnage: does identity have any meaning or even worth when it only exists as data?

  23. 4 out of 5

    David

    While Altered Carbon is a noir inspired mystery, Broken Angels is a treasure quest. Takeshi Kovacs, having had his sentence commuted after his success in the first novel, is now making a living as a mercenary on the war torn world of Sanction IV. His Envoy skills make him a valuable asset, and thus he is suited up in an enhanced sleeve—slang term for body, whether organic or artificial—with all sorts of neurological advances (thought controlled weapon interfaces) and biochemical additives (comba While Altered Carbon is a noir inspired mystery, Broken Angels is a treasure quest. Takeshi Kovacs, having had his sentence commuted after his success in the first novel, is now making a living as a mercenary on the war torn world of Sanction IV. His Envoy skills make him a valuable asset, and thus he is suited up in an enhanced sleeve—slang term for body, whether organic or artificial—with all sorts of neurological advances (thought controlled weapon interfaces) and biochemical additives (combat ready focus, situational awareness) that make him more lethal than ever. Despite his propensity for killing, we know from Altered Carbon that he's not a heartless monster. He has a code that he lives by, and it's pretty much what keeps him from falling into the abyss of soulless killing machine. He's no prig; he knows what he's doing. But even in war, there are lines that shouldn't be crossed. All the carnage has added an extra layer of world weariness to his cynical mindset, so when he's offered a chance to go AWOL for a huge payout, he jumps at the chance. The prize is an ancient Martian spacecraft, floating in a remote location of the solar system, but only accessible through a teleportation gate. The only person who knows where the gate is and how to open it is archeologist Tanya Wardani, who's currently wasting away in a refugee camp. Envoys are more than elite soldiers; they're also skilled in the social sciences. Wardani has PTSD, and Kovacs has to work with her—primarily in VR as time can be sped up or slowed down as per the situation—to assist in her recovery. The Martians were barely discussed in the first book. Basically they're the key to interstellar travel, even providing maps to inhabitable worlds in this corner of the galaxy. Much is still unknown about them, but their remnant technological artifacts are priceless. Archaeology has become a multi-billion dollar industry, despite the protests of actual scientists, and corporations fight over access to dig sites, hoping for the next big find that will yield a bonanza. Mandrake, one of these corporations, is bankrolling this mission and profiting from the war. Matthias Hand is the executive representing Mandrake. He and Kovacs put together a team from a pile of purchased cortical stacks—the constructs which house the backup of everyone's consciousness, built like airplane black boxes—from the salvaged war dead. The recruitment process, which takes place entirely in VR, makes for a great introduction to each of the book's minor characters, and I found each of these interviews intriguing. The team then heads to the site of the gate so that Wardani can get to work. There are a host of problems: The nearby city of Sauberville has been nuked, and radiation is slowly killing even these engineered sleeves; there's a saboteur in their midst; Hand's rivals have dropped a semi-intelligent lethal nanobot assembly nearby; and the only way out is guarded by Kovacs' former mercenary unit. There are a couple sex scenes in the book that seemed gratuitous, especially as they didn't do much in the way of character development, but Morgan plants a clue to the identity of the saboteur in each scene that could easily be overlooked. Still, I have to wonder if they could've been handled differently. The violence is graphic, but essential to the story. Morgan is emphasizing how terrible and dehumanizing war is. Sanction IV has become a corporate testing ground for the latest and greatest in military hardware. Human life is devalued so much that it becomes nothing more than a line item on a corporate balance sheet. Death is a form of slavery as soldiers become indebted to those who upload their stacks into new sleeves—at a price—and sent back to the front. The alternative is eternity in VR limbo. Stack death is the only true death. Fortunately, the Martian ship proves to be more than just a MacGuffin. In fact, Morgan plays it up like a cross between a haunted house and Egyptian tomb. Morgan also ties it into the book's anti-war theme, but I won't spoil it for you. All in all, I found Broken Angels to be a highly entertaining and engaging read, full of action, mystery, and the occasional philosophical debate on the nature of life, death, war, and spirituality.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason Kelley

    It's just not as good as the first one! OK, there, I said it. And I mean it. I can only imagine that writing a follow up to critically acclaimed novel has got to be a bummer. Think about it. You got this big awesome first story with all these great ingredients and an amazingly complex and fascinating protagonist. You also got mad style as a writer. And you definately have a book deal for a sequel that might actually pay the bills for the year and leave you in peace to write. Sounds not so bad hu It's just not as good as the first one! OK, there, I said it. And I mean it. I can only imagine that writing a follow up to critically acclaimed novel has got to be a bummer. Think about it. You got this big awesome first story with all these great ingredients and an amazingly complex and fascinating protagonist. You also got mad style as a writer. And you definately have a book deal for a sequel that might actually pay the bills for the year and leave you in peace to write. Sounds not so bad huh? But really, what the hell are you supposed to do with this awesome character that could possibly top the first novel? Maybe put the character on a different planet? Maybe instead of him being given a detective type mystery he could be knee-deep into a revolutionary war? No wait, I got it..... Martians! Let's bring some martians into it. Not actual martians, but their apparently forgotten ruins. Sounds a little formulaic doesn't it? Well it is. Now, don't get me wrong, I love stories of martians, space-faring war technology, and intrigue. But Morgan tries to plug this character we all grew to hate/love straight down into a cliche and sub-par plot. And frankly I'm just baffled to no end how this very creative and talented writer could follow up his masterpiece with, well, something so average. And since I'm not a writer I'm just going to guess that Morgan was, well, really bummed out he blew his whole load on Altered Carbon, and simply had no energy remaining to get very creative. Why three stars then? Because it's not horrible. Nor does it completely lack exciting action and creative concepts. It's just a disappointment. Side Note: Daffodil says "If I had read this before Altered Carbon, I might not have actually read Altered Carbon." Well put.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Richard Morgan's future is a strange place: digital immortality, a human civilization that spans dozens of worlds and resides in the remnants of an ancient Martian civilization, all powerful corporations that control the fates of entire worlds, and all manners of technology for killings or satisfying the more carnal needs of humanity. In this far future mess of humanity we find Takeshi Kovacs, the erstwhile protagonist from Altered Carbon, finds himself in the middle of a protracted planetary war Richard Morgan's future is a strange place: digital immortality, a human civilization that spans dozens of worlds and resides in the remnants of an ancient Martian civilization, all powerful corporations that control the fates of entire worlds, and all manners of technology for killings or satisfying the more carnal needs of humanity. In this far future mess of humanity we find Takeshi Kovacs, the erstwhile protagonist from Altered Carbon, finds himself in the middle of a protracted planetary war working for an elite mercenary company. During recovery from a particularly nasty engagement he is corned by a soldier with a offer he can't refuse: the location of an authentic martian starship, a priceless relic that could be their ticket off the war ravaged planet. Of course things aren't that simple. The transdimensional martian gate leading to the ship is in the middle of a war zone, the only person who can open it is in a prison camp, and the only people with the resources to pull off the salvage are amoral, ruthless corporations that aren't afraid to kill for a higher profit margin. Morgan does a great job building up the world and corporate environment the action takes place in. He imbues all the new characters with great personalities and motivations. Dialogue is lively, plot twists are both novel and reasonable, and the advanced technology is awesome but accessible. It is a fast paced thrilling story with lots of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages. While there are a few vague allusions to the first book, this can be enjoyed on its own. If you like sci-fi or heist plots you'll really enjoy this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Takashi Kovacs, ex-Envoy, of Altered Carbon moves back to his first skill set as a soldier and goes to war, in a grim and technological remake of Kelly's Heroes with hints of The Forever War. And dead specters of the "Martians". Takashi Kovacs, ex-Envoy, of Altered Carbon moves back to his first skill set as a soldier and goes to war, in a grim and technological remake of Kelly's Heroes with hints of The Forever War. And dead specters of the "Martians".

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hank

    If we take a spectrum with Chick Lit on one end and Dick Lit on the other this one is much, much closer to the latter. It has blood, gore, future tech guns, ridiculous Kalishnikovs and super human reaction times. Morgan stops his Takeshi Kovacs series from going full on Baldacci with his sleeve/cortical stack creation. The characters can have two different deaths, real and non-real. The ability, for some, to re-sleeve after being killed, lends an even more pointless aspect to war. It subtly shad If we take a spectrum with Chick Lit on one end and Dick Lit on the other this one is much, much closer to the latter. It has blood, gore, future tech guns, ridiculous Kalishnikovs and super human reaction times. Morgan stops his Takeshi Kovacs series from going full on Baldacci with his sleeve/cortical stack creation. The characters can have two different deaths, real and non-real. The ability, for some, to re-sleeve after being killed, lends an even more pointless aspect to war. It subtly shadows everything in this universe. There are the haves, whose company, military outfit or individual wealth allow them the luxury of a new body whenever they need it unless their stacks are completely destroyed. The are the have-nots, whose precarious existance may allow a rebirth but probably not. All acts of betrayal, heroism, revenge are magnified or diminshed accordingly due to re-sleeveability. I was also continualy wondering if the you that was re-sleeved was really the same you. Morgan takes a dim view of corporate behaviour, loyalty and greed. No one will accuse these books of being feel good books but they wrap some very thought provoking issues around a good story with lots of brutish behaviour from men and women. I have already started the third and last book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    In ‘Broken Angels’ radiation eats away at everyone’s bodies throughout the book as an ongoing planetary war also eats away at everyone’s souls. Any character with feelings of righteous belief ends up with the ashes of their belief lying at their feet. Betrayal is endemic throughout the plot. Darker than the first in the series, Altered Carbon, I can see why some would stop here at number two in the Takeshi Kovacs series. ‘Altered Carbon’ was an exploration of the rot of sexual freedom into sexua In ‘Broken Angels’ radiation eats away at everyone’s bodies throughout the book as an ongoing planetary war also eats away at everyone’s souls. Any character with feelings of righteous belief ends up with the ashes of their belief lying at their feet. Betrayal is endemic throughout the plot. Darker than the first in the series, Altered Carbon, I can see why some would stop here at number two in the Takeshi Kovacs series. ‘Altered Carbon’ was an exploration of the rot of sexual freedom into sexual decadence, and this novel is an exploration of the rot in moral faith that lies behind much political hatred and manipulation. True-believing leads to moral rot once you begin forcing everyone to your side. At least that seems to be the theme of book two. Plus it's apparently FAR bloodier when it's about political religion rather than sexual boredom! Anyway there are more revelations about our hero as well as the Martians. This reader is curious to see where Morgan takes us next. I'm feeling some dissonance though as to how an ex-envoy with a reengineered brain for warrior mentality and wolf-pack loyalty has somehow burst his neural chemical changes (chains) because of one particular death. Is that an authorial reveal? At the same time it's interesting how apparently if you burn out the usual human emotions and put in biotech to twist what's left of nerves and neurons you seem to get a human computer with a lot of mystical intuition and deep cynicism regarding motives of those in earnest self-sacrifice as well as the vicious self-serving. There is a lot to reflect on from reading this series. However the darkness and the polemic tone is a touch too much - my one complaint.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Second in the trilogy, this is one of the most haunting books I have read in a long while. Eerie and hard-boiled at the same time, Morgan's blend of science fiction, mystery and political fiction works but the addition of the "Martian" ship is truly weird and wonderful. Great series so far!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kostas

    7.5/10 Continuing with Broken Angels, the second book that follows the adventures of the famously titular anti-hero, Richard Morgan returns to this series with a little more different story, as he takes us away from Earth, bringing us deep into the unknown universe, and with Takeshi Kovacs finding himself this time between a big corporate war and also with a mysterious alien discovery that will bring him against new dangers and even greater adventures. In the faraway colony on Sanction IV, a big w 7.5/10 Continuing with Broken Angels, the second book that follows the adventures of the famously titular anti-hero, Richard Morgan returns to this series with a little more different story, as he takes us away from Earth, bringing us deep into the unknown universe, and with Takeshi Kovacs finding himself this time between a big corporate war and also with a mysterious alien discovery that will bring him against new dangers and even greater adventures. In the faraway colony on Sanction IV, a big war has broken inside the Protectorate as the powerful corporations fight for the planet’s rule, and now, Takeshi Kovacs - having gotten a new enhanced sleeve - has joined as a mercenary in the government’s corporate-sponsored army to fight against Kemp and his rebellious followers. But fate still holds for him again something unexpected and when, after a disastrous campaign against Kemp’s rebels, he gets approached by Schneider - a pilot and a deserter from their enemy’s army - he will reveal to him a mysterious discovery of a, forgotten, alien artefact that could lead them to something bigger and could also change their lives forever. Together, Kovacs and Schneider, will gather a team with some particularly military skills and, with Wardani’s help - an archaeologist who became a prisoner of war, they will try to solve the mystery behind this artefact and discover its hidden secrets so they can find that of what they so much desire. However, what they will discover on the way is something unbelievably terrible - something they would never have believed, and when the plots and betrayals of the corporations intertwine in the middle it may well lead them all even to their destruction. From the very first moment of the book, Morgan builds again onto a very interesting central idea - on the so-called “Martians” and their mysterious disappearance - giving this time a wider view of the unknown universe as he takes us deeper and deeper from the known worlds. However, even though in this part he manages it well enough, he fails in the end to fulfill the expectations that he set from Altered Carbon . This is mainly because, as Morgan slowly builds the story through the new characters, he focuses more on the personal conflicts of the war between the corporations, leaving behind the central idea of the “Martians” without exploring it as much as it, perhaps, needed; something that leads this part of the book into a somewhat failed attempt to bring something great for its closure. Nevertheless thought, the book has too its own unique moments as we see Kovacs getting into new adventures and, although Morgan's writing is certainly not as strong here, it has lots of action, unexpected love-interests and many, many turns and twists that manage to make it at least entertaining enough, if not completely as much satisfying. Overall, it is a book that shows more of Morgan's weaknesses than his strengths, but it has certainly some good moments throughout the story and, even though doesn’t reach Altered Carbon's level, I would say that it deserves a look for those who want to see the continuation of Takeshi Kovacs' adventures. Certainly not a satisfying book, but at least an entertaining one for the most part. Ελληνική κριτική: (view spoiler)[Συνεχίζοντας στο Broken Angels, το δεύτερο βιβλίο που ακολουθεί τις περιπέτειες του φημισμένου ομώνυμου αντι-ήρωα, ο Richard Morgan επιστρέφει σε αυτή την σειρά με μια λίγο πιο διαφορετική ιστορία, καθώς μας παίρνει μακριά από την Γη, φέρνοντάς μας βαθιά μέσα στο άγνωστο σύμπαν, και με τον Takeshi Kovacs να βρίσκεται αυτή τη φορά ανάμεσα σε ένα μεγάλο πόλεμο εταιριών αλλά και με μια μυστηριώδους εξωγήινη ανακάλυψη που θα τον φέρει αντιμέτωπο με νέους κινδύνους και με ακόμα μεγαλύτερες περιπέτειες. Στην μακρινή αποικία στον Sanction IV ένας μεγάλος πόλεμος έχει ξεσπάσει μέσα στο Προτεκτοράτο καθώς οι ισχυρές εταιρίες πολεμούν για την εξουσία του πλανήτη και, τώρα, ο Takeshi Kovacs - έχοντας πάρει μια νέα ενισχυμένη θήκη - έχει ενταχθεί σαν μισθοφόρος στον εταιρικά-χορηγημένο στρατό της κυβέρνησης για να πολεμήσει ενάντια στον Kemp και τους επαναστατικούς ακόλουθούς του. Όμως η μοίρα του φυλάσσει και πάλι κάτι απροσδόκητο και όταν, μετά από μια καταστροφική εκστρατεία κατά των επαναστατών του Kemp, τον πλησιάσει ο Schneider - ένας πιλότος και λιποτάκτης από τον στρατό των εχθρών τους - θα του αποκαλύψει μια μυστηριώδη ανακάλυψη ενός, ξεχασμένου, εξωγήινου τεχνουργήματος που μπορεί να τους οδηγήσει σε κάτι ακόμα μεγαλύτερο και μπορεί επίσης να τους αλλάξει τις ζωές για πάντα. Μαζί, ο Kovacs και ο Schneider, θα συγκεντρώσουν μια ομάδα με μερικές ιδιαίτερες στρατιωτικές ικανότητες και, μαζί με την βοήθεια της Wardani - μιας αρχαιολόγου που έγινε αιχμάλωτη του πολέμου, θα προσπαθήσουν να λύσουν το μυστήριο πίσω από αυτό το τεχνούργημα και να ανακαλύψουν τα κρυμμένα μυστικά του για να βρουν αυτό που τόσο πολύ επιθυμούν. Ωστόσο, αυτό που θα ανακαλύψουν στην πορεία είναι κάτι αφάνταστα τρομερό - κάτι που δεν θα πίστευαν ποτέ και όταν οι δολοπλοκίες και οι προδοσίες των εταιριών μπλεχτούν στην μέση μπορεί κάλλιστα να τους οδηγήσει όλους ακόμα και στην καταστροφή. Από την πρώτη στιγμή του βιβλίου ο Morgan χτίζει ξανά πάνω σε μια πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα κεντρική ιδέα - πάνω στους αποκαλούμενους «Αρειανούς» και της μυστηριώδους εξαφάνισής τους - δίνοντας αυτή τη φορά μια ευρύτερη οπτική του άγνωστου σύμπαντος καθώς μας πηγαίνει ακόμα πιο βαθιά από τους γνωστούς κόσμους. Ωστόσο, παρ’ όλο που σε αυτό το κομμάτι τα καταφέρνει αρκετά καλά, αποτυγχάνει στο τέλος στο να εκπληρώσει τις προσδοκίες που έθεσε από τους Θνητούς θεούς (Altered Carbon). Αυτό είναι κυρίως γιατί, καθώς ο Morgan χτίζει σιγά σιγά την ιστορία μέσα από τους νέους χαρακτήρες, επικεντρώνεται περισσότερο πάνω στις προσωπικές διαμάχες του πολέμου μεταξύ των εταιριών, αφήνοντας έτσι γρήγορα πίσω την κεντρική ιδέα των «Αρειανών» χωρίς να την εξερευνήσει όσο, ίσως, χρειαζόταν· κάτι που οδηγεί το κομμάτι αυτό του βιβλίου σε μια κάπως αποτυχημένη προσπάθεια για κάτι σπουδαίο για το κλείσιμό του. Παρ’ όλα αυτά όμως, το βιβλίο έχει και αυτό τις δικές του ξεχωριστές στιγμές καθώς βλέπουμε τον Kovacs να μπαίνει σε νέες περιπέτειες και, αν και σίγουρα η γραφή του Morgan δεν είναι τόσο δυνατή εδώ, έχει μπόλικη δράση, αναπάντεχους έρωτες και πολλές, πολλές ανατροπές που καταφέρνουν να το κάνουν τουλάχιστον διασκεδαστικό, αν όχι εντελώς τόσο ικανοποιητικό. Γενικά, είναι ένα βιβλίο που δείχνει περισσότερο τις αδυναμίες του Morgan παρά τα δυνατά του σημεία, όμως έχει σίγουρα μερικές καλές στιγμές καθ’ όλη την ιστορία και, παρ’ όλο που δεν φτάνει στο επίπεδο των Θνητών θεών, θα έλεγα ότι αξίζει μια ματιά για όσους θέλουν να δουν την συνέχεια των περιπετειών του Takeshi Kovacs. Σίγουρα όχι ένα ικανοποιητικό βιβλίο, αλλά τουλάχιστον είναι επί το πλείστον διασκεδαστικό. (hide spoiler)]

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