This was a blast. I’ve seen the Netflix series and was curious about the book, and granted, there’s quite a lot of divergence between the two, but both of them are still very good in their own right. I was particularly impressed with how the screenwriters managed to add completely new storylines to the plot, while dishing some from the book and still manage to keep the main plot line intact. Very well done.

World-building

Altered Carbons world-building is absolutely sublime. The premise is great, but the author has built a whole world (colonized universe) around it, with a rich history and multiple, believable factions. I really dig the idea of DHF and the options this creates for the future of the human species. It stands to reason that using this technology to the fullest would of only be available to the very wealthy, creating an even bigger gap between the rich and the poor. There’s also constant hinting to things that happened on other worlds, which provides ample hooks for spin-offs or short stories to elaborate further on both the interstellar politics and the character of Takeshi Kovacs.

Characters

I LOVE Takeshi Kovacs. His dry humor and razer sharp mind are exactly what the doctor ordered. He does NOT fuck around when action is required, however, he does fuck around quite a lot, when it comes to the women around him. The story is told stricly from the first person perspective, which makes it hard for the other characters to really stand out and shine, but I still feel that Morgan did an excellent job with this. It could of course be that I’m influenced by having seen the characters in the tv-series, but I thought that both Bancrofts and Ortega were really well done and had their own personality (albeit a bit 1-dimensional). I did constantly miss the Edgar Allan Poe persona of the hotel (from the tv series) and was mildly dissapointed with the Jimmy Hendrix persona the book ascribes to the AI. The screenwriters really nailed that one.

Story

This would be my first detective novel, and I must say, I do like it quite a lot. Might try my hand at some in the future. I really enjoyed this blend of sci-fi detectoring.

The story itself starts off quickly and after setting the scene, never slows down enough to get bored, just enough to catch your breath, but mostly it’s a rollercoaster ride all the way.

There’s also a bunch of moral questions on the sideline that are discussed in the story in between the action, and without casting (much) judgement, they actually lay out all the pro’s and cons quite well. I enjoyed thinking about the moral (and practical) implications of basic immortality.

Writing

Loved the writing in this, some very creative phrasing and the action sequences really shined. The whole dark / cynical mood was a constant presence and Kovacs’s dry humor really hit if off with me.

Conclusion

I loved every bit of this and I hope that the next one is equally as good, as I won’t have the visuals from the tv series in the back of my mind to fill up the blanks. 5 stars, easily.

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