Richard K. Morgan does it again. This time in a stand-alone sci-fi novel. This is another top reco from my reading list. It’s an action thriller with another protagonist that’s a bit hard-boiled. Not quite as anti-hero as Takeshi Kovacs, more of a genetically modified Jason Bourne. Actually, that’s a great succinct summary of this book: Genetically-modified Jason Bourne.
I can’t say enough good things about this series. Each book is distinct and different, yet the threads between them are strong enough to weave a greater narrative. Takeshi is the ultimate anti-hero who answers only to himself—even if his employers think otherwise. Every book is filled with far-future tech embedded in societies that makes sense in the context. That is, there is both cool Sci-Fi tech and believable impacts on humankind from it.
It’s hard to pick a favorite of this series. After I re-read each one, I decided that one was my favorite. Until I picked up the next one again.
Most trilogies wind down in the third book, often times with some quasi-religious, half-assed philosophy being espoused by the author taking up too much of the last book. Not Woken Furies. It’s still all-Takeshi bad-assery all the time. Still the flawed anti-hero out for his own personal agenda, but this time with his own scores to settle. This book slowly pieces together the Takeshi Kovacs story, providing context to many decisions he made throughout the series.
As much as I loved the far-future Earth, I welcomed the second book taking place on another planet in the far-flung universe of this series. The main character is still the flawed anti-hero, just in a different sleeve serving a different purpose. Like the first, the book has many layers and enough twists that even after the third time I read it I was still picking up on things I missed.
I love this series and this book. It’s a hard-boiled detective thriller with an awesome anti-hero protagonist. The tech of the future in this series is what I want from Sci-Fi: really advanced shit that shapes the entire story and the characters within it. The tech makes you think about the path from here to there, how humanity has changed and yet hasn’t changed, as we’ve evolved ourselves and our world. There’s also a massive “haves vs. have not’s” undercurrent in this book that few other Sci-Fi novels address in what I consider a realistic way. That is, it’s neither utopian nor dystopian.
It’s worth noting that the book/series is straight-up NC-17 with both sex and violence, so be forewarned.
Finally, I thought the Netflix series was good, though not great. The main actor was absolutely brilliant, but other ranged from OK to hard-to-watch bad. The plot held mostly true to the book. Some of the plot changes were welcomed and well thought out, but naturally a few I disliked. I still prefer the book to the TV show.