Broken Angels (2003) Richard Morgan, Gollancz, £10.99, trd pbk, 394pp, ISBN 0-575-07324-1
Takeshi Kovacs, now sleeved in a combat-body in the unit Carrera's Wedge, is serving in a Protectorate backed war to put down a revolution on Sanction IV when he is wounded. In hospital he makes the acquaintance of Jan Schneider who recruits Kovacs into a scheme to recover an archeological artifact of incredible value. With the backing of the Mandrake Corporation, Kovacs must assemble a team and enter the warzone where a nuke has been deployed. But with other parties interested can the group plant their claim bouy before they are killed by the radiation? And will they discover what happened to the Martians, whose maps and technology the human race is using, but who appear to be long absent?
Morgan's first novel, Altered Carbon, was one of the delights of last year and, although I don't quite think this is as good over all, this is another excellent visit with the ex-Envoy Takeshi Kovacs. Morgan's ideas are original and striking, and his writing is a white-knuckle ride of exuberant prose with convincing action sequences and fascinating characters. Hopefully this new novel will continue to establish his place in the SF firmament, and I have to say that I await with keen anticipation more pleasure from Morgan in the future. If you've not read the first book, I heartily recommend it along with this next installment.
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