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Journal of Peter Greenwell

Tag: richard morgan

Altered Carbon – TV series

I watched this ten part series on Netflix recently, and it’s left me with mixed feelings. On one note, I hope the future depicted in this series (and the books) never comes to pass. On another note, I was impressed with the cast of the series, each of whom acquitted themselves excellently, particularly Joel Kinnaman as Kovacs and Martha Higareda as Ortega. Kudos to the ever-reliable James Purefoy too.

It’s gritty, well-made and produced, full of death, gore, nudity and the high-tech. No nice guys anywhere. It’s a neon-glitzy yet filthy future no decent person wants to find themselves in. Apart from the excellent fight scenes and gripping action, the series also has its lulls, and Episode 7, which dealt mainly in flashback with Kovacs’ time with Quellcrist on Harlan’s World dragged on. And that last episode? Talk about end with a whimper. I don’t know yet if Netflix made enough dough to put Broken Angels into production, but there’s hints the storyline of Kovacs continues.

The book Altered Carbon (which I reviewed here) isn’t fresh enough in my mind to know whether the series stuck to it or not. In the main, I think it did, but I do recall Kovacs being sleeved into the body of a woman at one stage, something the series omitted. The series kept the dystopian, hopeless for most future of the book intact though. Being able to save your consciousness to a device and then be implanted into a new body is something I hope never happens. It probably will, and that’ll be another slide down the self-destruction slope for humankind.

The story illustrates the philosophy that immortality is a bad thing and if it turns out like Altered Carbon, I thoroughly agree. If I hate to rate this series, I’d give it an 8/10. It’s very good, if you’re willing to put up with a few lulls and too many trips into flashback.

Richard Morgan – Broken Angels

Broken Angels (Takeshi Kovacs, #2)Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an interview with an Australian SF magazine, Richard Morgan stated that he dislikes two or three star reviews of his stuff. Sorry about that, but this book is a three star affair. It’s involving and interesting enough to where you want to keep reading but it’s a muddle in places and the author gets carried away with his plethora of ideas.

No, it’s not as good as the book before it, and you can put that down to a loss of focus. The book’s reach exceeds its grasp.

And Kovacs isn’t as interesting this time around as he was in Altered Carbon. A touch of the old cardboard has crept in.

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Richard Morgan – Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 and a half stars actually. C’mon Goodreads, give us the ability to vote half-stars.

Anyhow, I liked everything about this book save how long it was. I felt it could’ve been tightened a bit by about 60-70 pages. So yes, it did drag a little, especially some of the sections where Kovacs and Ortega are alone. But apart from that, everything else contained within this book was A+. It’s uncommonly complex, labyrinthinely plotted, well characterised and it’s briskly paced (apart from what I said above). I’m impressed, so off to the sequel I go.

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