It S The Twenty Fifth Century, And Advances In Technology Have Redefined Life Itself A Person S Consciousness Can Now Be Stored In The Brain And Downloaded Into A New Body Or Sleeve , Making Death Nothing Than A Minor Blip On A Screen Onetime UN Envoy Takeshi Kovacs Has Been Killed Before, But His Last Death Was Particularly Painful Resleeved Into A Body In Bay City Formerly San Francisco , Kovacs Is Thrown Into The Dark Heart Of A Shady, Far Reaching Conspiracy That Is Vicious Even By The Standards Of A Society That Treats Existence As Something That Can Be Bought And Sold For Kovacs, The Shell That Blew A Hole In His Chest Was Only The Beginning Hearing that Netflix new series is based off this series made me want to read this evenOnly hope the show is as good as the book is. I walked beside the woman I had killed last week and tried to hold up my end of a conversation about cats A solid neo noir cyberpunk detective story that plays out in a fascinating science fiction universe If you re a fan of the genre, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up It s pitch black dark, brutally ultra violent and fun as hell I particularly loved the concept of sleeving and the method by which characters undergo interstellar travel This is a cold, difficult reality in which Kovacs exists, and it feels lived in, with a lot of backstory beneath the surface I m hoping that backstory is explored later in the series, because it s seriously intriguing The pacing feels a little slow around the 80% mark, but that could just be a symptom of how fast paced it is everywhere else There s also a chapter near the end that feels almost entirely superfluous Personally, I think the book would ve been better without its inclusion This book also contains the most unintentionally hilarious sex scene I ve ever read Ever You ll know what I m talking about when you get to it It s. interesting The novel has a fairly complicated plot that comes together almost flawlessly in the end I could see this being even better on the second read I ll definitely be reading the rest of this series. Confusing books lead to bullet point reviews It s the best way for me to gather my thoughts.3 to 3.5 starsI liked the book, but I didn t love it I had been hoping to like it muchthan I did My wife and I are reading it at the same time with plans to follow it up with the Netflix show After reading, I may not be rushing into watching it.Positives Very unique and creative While it does have some shades of other dark gritty sci fi I have read or seen, the concepts were fresh and intriguing To expand on the last bullet point, there were scenes throughout the book that were very fascinating The futuristic possibilities, technologies, devices, politics, etc expanded upon by the author are pretty freaking cool.Negatives Some may say that this is an intelligent novel that makes you think For me, it was just a very confusing novel Every time I thought I knew what happened, there would be some weird shift seemingly out of left field and I was lost again Often I was not sure where they were or what they were doing Then, as before I would start to think I knew what was happening and the shift would happen again Maybe this is appropriate for a book where people keep switching bodies I was a theater major in college and had to take a class on naked vs nude in art Naked being gratuitous and mainly for shock value and nude actually advancing the plot and increasing the artistic value The sex and violence in this book are very heavy on the naked side Not that I mind a little gore or some steamy hanky panky, but it was kind of extreme in this book and I am not sure it was truly needed for the plot Audiobook this part is not really a complaint about the book, so I tried my hardest not to include it in my overall impression, but it is hard to separate The audiobook was not great The narrator was monotone and whispery Half the time I could barely hear him The other half of the time I wondered if he cared all that much Definitely not at the top of my audiobook suggestions.Neutral He compares getting your nose broken to biting into a stalk of celery So there is that .Recommended for Fans of dark and gritty Sci fi stories People who must read the book before watching the series Lovers of complex, twisty, out there plotsAvoid if You are confused easily You don t care for gratuitous sex and violence Takeshi Kovacs is killed on an another world and re sleeved in Bay City in the body of a disgraced cop His mission find out who killed Laurens Bancroft, a Meth short for Methusaleh billionaire Bancroft and is offering Kovacs his freedom as a reward Only a lot of people don t want anyone to know why Bancroft killed himself Can Kovacs get to the bottom of things before the demons in Bancroft s private life get him I bought this for a buck and it languished on my shelf for a couple years Was it worth a buck Damn right it was Kovacs quest takes him through the seedy underworld of the Bay City sex trade, among other places The supporting cast, namely Ortega, Miriam Bancroft, Kadmin, and Trepp, keep the plot going fairly smoothly The action is fast and furious and the sci fi elements enhance the mystery rather than being set pieces The mystery itself has so many twists and turns that it was hard to keep track I like when a mystery surprises me this much Kovacs wouldn t be out of place in any number of crime novels Bay City is a like a futuristic, and dirtier, San Francisco and is fairly well realized as a setting It s hard to believe this was Morgan s first novel But, Dan you ask Why only a three Why not a four or even a five Well, I liked this book but I sure wasn t in love with it First, the sex scenes were unnecessary and, frankly, kind of repetitive Let s just say 69 is a popular number in the future Also, for what the book was, it seemed slow in the middle, like fifty to seventy pages could ve have been lost without missing much The plot zigged and zagged so much I d nearly forgotten about the Bancrofts by the end Other than that, I ve got no complaints If you like your sci fi with an action bend and or are a fan of crime novels, this should keep you occupied for a few hours. A fun and fast paced thrill ride, almost impossible for me to put down Picture a hard boiled noir, the solitary, weary worldly detective, blunted emotional skills, stepping on toes as he investigates Merge that plot and character with innovative science fiction digitized personalities that can be downloaded into new bodies with the right reasons or enough cash, and the result is eminently readable Full review posted at Re read 2 27 18 I had to pick this up again and hop on to the second and third books mostly because I was guilted into it by the Netflix production I really enjoyed the show and found myself misremembering some plot points.It turns out I didn t misremember The tv show was close to 90% faithful The other bits might be reveals pulled forward from the subsequent books which I haven t read I honestly don t know And that s why I m doing the re read So did I enjoy itthe second time around Yep, I did I really appreciate the whole concept of post cyberpunk societies running with the technological development and getting established darkly We re all just meat suits No one really dies unless you get your implant destroyed or your backups corrupted, but in the meantime, you can get a new meat suit Or if you have a religious outlook that prevents it, you can t Starting from there, it s a great crime drama, a private PI with a dark past, and enough twists and turns to turn most regular mysteries into cheap trash So do I recommend Hell ya Original review Great genre writing, even if it is a perfect mix of noir and post cyberpunk I know, I know, cyberpunk is generally associated with noir 50 s style tough guy private eye pulp, only with the shiny.This is different because it is POST cyberpunk in the great tradition I love to associate with Brin s Kiln People or any of the hard sci Stross or some of the best of Stephenson You know, the sci taken to the second or the third steps, and then twisted and here you ve got a stock character thrown into this really messed up science fiction world and it all depends on how well the story is written, and yes, oh, yes, it is written very well and is very enjoyable. When i watched the TV show in Netflix i had to read the book, it was like a compulsion, and boy was i rewarded, i haven t felt this greatly about a neo noir cyberpunk since Red Rising Takeshi is a fascinating central character , the plot is tight and witty , full of action,mystery and betrayals, the background is rich, the technologies are awesome I won t be forgetting sleeving , needlecast or dozens of other terms anytime soon. I haven t DNFed a book in a while but I just can t seem to get into this one.I don t need to know that the character s penis is getting hard while staring at the boobs of the woman he s interviewing about the death of her husband twice in 3 pages.I don t need to know he s half ass masturbating back in his hotel room I don t need to know about the boobs of every female characters, especially if you re going to call them elusive globes.I don t need a cringy sex scene and all of this before page 120 I just don t.This was sold to me as a great sci fi book with clones but it read like a bad porn written by a 15yo Not for me.Forsalt Altered Carbon is one of those sci fi books that lingered on my to read list for years It was the arrival of the Netflix TV adaptation that finally gave me the push to pick it up I m glad it did as this exceeded my expectations and turned out to be one of the best noir detective stories I ve ever read In a future where the human mind has been digitised and can be downloaded into a new body a criminal, Takeshi Kovacs, is pulled from prison or cold storage as it is in this futuristic sci fi world and offered a catch 22 deal by a powerful businessman He can solve a murder or return to serve out the rest of his long term prison sentence The murder is that of the businessman himself The police have closed the case and ruled it a suicide but Laurens Bancroft, re sleeved in a new body with no memories of the night he died, does not believe the verdict Soon Takeshi is caught up trying to solve a murder case that no one seems to want solved except the murder victim The story was a good one The mix of mystery and action worked well and the sci fi setting was cool and interesting Morgan s writing style was direct but very compelling The whole story was told in the first person from Takeshi s POV and despite being a bit of an anti hero he proved easy enough to root for He was also a fairly charming narrator and his cynical and snarky outlook on life made for plenty of fun moments This was 100% a sci fi noir detective story It was a very good one but did still suffer from an occasional overdose of the genres typical tropes which I did find a little annoying The worst of them being the vaguely misogynistic tint to the whole story On the plus side the mystery was a good one and held my interest until the very end Morgan s sci fi world was also quite fascinating and it was packed with a ton of cool futuristic sci fi technology The story also had a bit of depth to it Morgan did not linger too long on any single issue but he touched on a whole bunch of interesting topics that are perhaps evenrelevant today than they were when Altered Carbon was written All in all I enjoyed Altered Carbon a lot and rate it as one of the better sci fi books I ve read in the last few years and possibly the best sci fi I ve read with a noir detective theme It had a few flaws for sure but on the whole they did not really hurt my enjoyment of the story Rating 5 stars I was thinking about just going with 4.5 stars due to the tropey nature of some of the happenings but I m just giving it the whole 5 stars since it was so addictive and fun to read Audio Note I think Todd McLaren did a good job with the audio His general narration was good and he seemed a good fit for both the story and Takeshi as a character He was not without flaws though as while he dealt well with the male voices he did struggle quite a bit with the female ones.