Thursday, November 23, 2006

Broken Angels, Richard Morgan

Title: Broken Angels
Author: Richard Morgan
Rating: Great!

I've been so busy I've been unable to get this review written and posted, but it's finally time to do it.

Broken Angels is Richard Morgan's follow-on to Altered Carbon. I enjoyed that first book, and with this one, Morgan has improved both his writing and his story telling.

Once again we follow Takeshi Kovacs's exploits, but this time he's not acting in the role of a detective. Instead, the plot is more like pure science fiction. Kovacs is on a planet at war and gets diverted to go after an artifact left behind by the long, long dead (or gone) Martian race. Others are going after it as well, of course, and there is always the possibility that one of his fellow team members is betraying his team.

The story is deep and complex enough to hold your attention. The writing is clear and concise, and the action keeps the entire thing moving crisply. As with the first book, there's a fair amount of violence here, and some explicit sexual content, but those are both toned down a bit from their levels in the first volume.

If I have a gripe, it's that despite the fact that we're following Kovacs through the book, there are times when he does important things off stage. That writing technique can work, but it's best to camouflage it in some way, perhaps by shifting the POV around so we're following someone else when the hero does his important work out of our sight.

In the end, though, that is a minor quibble. Broken Angels is a well written science fiction. It's fast paced, set in an interesting universe, and populated with believable, complex characters. Highly recommended.