Book Review: Altered Carbon Books

Altered Carbon — Richard Morgan

Set in a future in which interstellar travel and life extension tantamount to immortality is made possible by transferring consciousnesses between bodies, or “sleeves”, we follow protagonist Takeshi Kovacs, last of a group of elite super soldiers, bought and revived into a new body in order to investigate a rich man’s death.

I read this book years ago, but was curious to give it another go after I watched the Netflix adaption. This confirmed my suspicion that the book is definitely better. The show is fun, but: it opened up plot holes that don’t need to be there, turned the intellectual adoration of a philosophical figure into a romance that doesn’t really make sense, and turned a villain who makes perfect sense into one who doesn’t. And I could go on.

The book is solid, fun, violent sci-fi, and boy does Richard Morgan know how to write a great sex scene. If you enjoyed the show, read the books and you will find that the show makes for excellent fan fiction by comparison (I’ll go into this more in my next post). 5/5

Broken Angels — Richard Morgan

Of the three Takeshi Kovacs books, Broken Angels turned out to be my favourite, mostly because we get to find out more about those mysterious Martians. I do appreciate properly alien aliens in a sci-fi, and found the Martians pretty satisfying on that front throughout this series. As with Altered Carbon, Broken Angels is a good mix of violent action, dark humour, sex and mystery. Excellent sci-fi. 5/5

Woken Furies — Richard Morgan

Fun, if a little confusing at times in terms of character motivations. I enjoyed the exploration of Kovacs as fundamentally damaged, but still striving to do his best for those he cares about. I didn’t enjoy where things go with Falconer, though I think she is an excellent figure throughout the books and I could really get into Quellism. “Face the facts” is pretty much my philosophy of life anyway. The end of the book is fitting, and that is all I shall say about it.

Not the best in the series, but adds some depth to Kovacs. 4/5

5 comments

  1. A book I’ve actually read too😲
    The first one at least🤔
    I am likely a bit weird in that I preferred the TV series (at least season 1) though I would agree that the romance angle was nonsense.

    • That’s not weird, the TV series had a lot going for it. But that’s part of why it ended up disappointing me. I think it could have been better than the book, if it hadn’t gone all Hollywood. I have another post coming out soon going into that 😉

      • I look forward to it😁
        I will add that my preference for the TV series lasts only until the end of season 1.
        I don’t know if season 2 is anything like the books (I wasn’t a big enough fan to get past book 1) but as a story it was a mess😅

      • Season 2 isn’t anything like book 2, though I admit I didn’t watch all of it. I totally lost interest. Book 2 was my favourite of the three and I was disappointed they didn’t stick to the source material and made it all about the romance with Quell. I liked Poe though.

  2. You did not miss much; season 2 got worse as it moved along.
    The Quell stuff is partly to blame for this.
    Poe is awesome though, in both series.

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