Wednesday, July 05, 2006

06.23 Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan


Woken Furies (2005) Richard K. Morgan
Paperback, Gollancz, 563 pp.


Alright well it looks as though I've become addicted to these Takeshi Kovacs books. This is now the third one I've read in this series with the same hero. And fortunately it has turned out to be the best so far.

Kovacs awakens re-sleeved on his home world, called Harlan's World. He's given a nebulous mission involving some local yakuza, and the First Families of this planet. Early on, however, he rescues a young woman from a group of religious zealots who are attacking her in a bar. The woman turns out to be the head of a team of mercenaries, who do missions which involve hunting down and decommissioning rogue, sentient military hardware. Kovacs joins up with this crew and their leader, who is basically a modified hardwired computer. At one point she appears to become infected with a virus and expresses the personality of a long thought dead, revolutionary hero of the planet.

Upon returning to the base to get her fixed, the crew find that an assassin who is actually another re-sleeved version of Kovacs is hot upon their trail. Everyone flees, but the crew is slaughtered and the possible revolutionary savior is captured. Kovacs must recruit some of his old gang buddies to help him effect a rescue. The story continues with a rescue attempt, a terrible betrayal, and a final confrontation with himself.

The author's books take some time to get into because he seems to use a lot of his own lingo in creating his world. For the first hundred pages or so you feel like you're trying to play catch-up with the characters and settings. After that though, you definitely get into the whole milieu. I felt like this book was one of his best because the story really keeps a good pace and this planet is so amazing. Harlan's World is basically a water-world (think Blue Planet RPG) with very little landmass. There are a large number of satellites orbiting the planet as well that were artifacts left there by the Martians. The purpose of these orbitals is unknown, but what is known is that they will not allow any vehicle to fly above 400 m. If they do, then they will lance them down with laser fire. Think about it: imagine the development of a world with nothing in the air.

If you like a good sci-fi book that's easy to read, this is a very enjoyable one to check out.

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