Richard Morgan has always been one of our most successful SF authors with his fast-moving and brutal storylines, blistering plots and a powerful social conscience behind his work.
And now he's back, with his first SF novel for eight years . . . and it promises to be a publication to remember.
An ex-corporate enforcer, Hakan Veil, is forced to bodyguard Madison Madekwe, part of a colonial audit team investigating a disappeared lottery winner on Mars. But when Madekwe is abducted, and Hakan nearly killed, the investigation takes him farther and deeper than he had ever expected. And soon Hakan discovers the heavy price he may have to pay to learn the truth.
Morgan revisits the futuristic noir vibe of his best-known work, Altered Carbon, in this glacially paced and overly macho offering that tackles politics, corruption, and espionage in a human settlement on Mars. Hakan Veil is a recovering overrider, a genetically modified human tasked with commandeering control of haulage space vessels should the crew mutiny or a mission go awry. Overriders are blunt instruments bred for brutality, so the decommissioned Veil is the ideal bodyguard to protect Madison Madekwe when she and the other Earth Oversight Committee auditors arrive on Mars, kicking up a firestorm of political unrest. Amid growing terroristic violence and murder, Veil must confront his checkered past and overcome his own primal urges to ensure the safety of his charge and the stability of his adoptive home world. The numerous female characters, however, are underdeveloped, and Veil mostly treats them as sex objects. Though the story is slow-moving and light on characterization, it tackles numerous moral and political questions, and is garnished with plenty of gratuitous violence. More cinematic than cerebral, it will appeal to fans of high-octane action movies and Netflix's Altered Carbon adaptation.
Yet another beautiful piece from one of the greats. I only wish I had the literary skill to write a review that does justice to this book. I’ve read everything Richard Morgan has written and like an addict wish there was more and long for the next hit.