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Broken Angels

(Takeshi Kovacs #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  33,165 ratings  ·  1,531 reviews
Welcome back to the brash, brutal new world of the twenty-fifth century: where global politics isn’t just for planet Earth anymore; and where death is just a break in the action, thanks to the techno-miracle that can preserve human consciousness and download it into one new body after another.

Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private ey
Trade Paperback, 366 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Del Rey (first published March 20th 2003)
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Conway I'm on the third book now, and without spoiling it for you, I can safely say you can read any of the books out of order and it'll still work; unlike m…moreI'm on the third book now, and without spoiling it for you, I can safely say you can read any of the books out of order and it'll still work; unlike most trilogies. Altered Carbon, the first book is also different from the Netflix series of the same name. Reading the book doesn't not spoil the TV series, or vice versa, in my opinion. They're both enjoyable in their own mediums, with slightly different storylines.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  33,165 ratings  ·  1,531 reviews

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Oct 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: diehard Morgan fans
A very different book from Altered Carbon. And not nearly as good. Is this one of those cases where a successful author isn't subject to as much editorial control?

A difference that doesn't bother me is that Broken Angels is more SF and less murder mystery than Altered Carbon. But then there's the rest:

1. He has. This. Really annoying. Use. Of. Periods. To show pauses. Or something. Which is not only distracting but also makes it hard to parse. The sentences. Hey. Richard. Try an. Ellipsis. Or. A
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a fantastic sequel to Altered Carbon. I find Morgan's writing to be super engaging and the story itself delivers a good mix of action, humor, and mystery while still giving the reader plenty of thought-provoking themes to ponder.

The setting changed completely for this second instalment. Takeshi Kovacs found himself in a new sleeve and on a new world but still caught up in other peoples problems. Sanction IV is in the midst of a war as local fanatic Joshua Kemp and his supporters try to
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, own, read_2018
Broken Angels is a vastly different book to the first Takeshi Kovacs novel, Altered Carbon. Where Altered Carbon read like a futuristic noir, focusing on a sci-fi murder mystery, the sequel (set fifty years after) reads like military sci-fi with exploration into the evolutionary Martian warfare at the forefront.

Whilst I enjoyed the book, there are a lot of characters in Broken Angeles and a lot of scheming, double and triple crosses, and semi-political/corporate backstabbing which was hard to gr
This book is just a punishing read. It checks all the right boxes: Cool future military technology, deadly mercenaries with cynical attitudes, evil corporate execs, radioactive battlefields, deadly nanotech, mysterious and powerful remains of an advanced alien race, double- and triple-crosses, and an utterly jaded, highly skilled Envoy/spy/super-soldier who literally blasts his way out of every situation, but feels appropriately regretful after creating a pile of corpses (or sometimes just a spr ...more
I truly didn't have a clue what I was getting into when I started this second book in the Kovacs trilogy. Altered Carbon was a VERY different beast.

That being said, we pick up with Kovacs thirty years after his reawakening on Earth and he's far down his lonesome path, giving up on private eye stuff and giving up his free will to join a war. An ongoing war that's either economics or ongoing economics by other means, that is. Give him something bloody to bite into and he's happy enough. It certain
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
The misplaced titles game: Broken Angels ought to be the title of some rancidly sweet early twentieth century morality tale of former prostitutes finding God in a halfway house. In reality, it’s a psychopathically violent pseudomilitary skiffy tale of humans mucking about in the remains of the long-gone Martian civilization; the entire main cast spends about two-thirds of this book dying in agony from radiation sickness, and the remaining third poking into their consciences and not liking what t ...more
Broken Angels is the follow-up to Altered Carbon, the novel that put Richard K. Morgan on the map, a fusion of Blade Runner noir and far future hard science tied together with a skull slamming narrative.

Broken Angels is available in two unique editions:

Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies
Lettered: 26 signed lettered copies, leather bound, housed in a custom tray case

This hardcover edition is marked PC of 500 edition produced, and is signed by Richard K. Morgan with a smiley face drawing
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not really sure if this book can really be called "a second part of trilogy". I mean, a trilogy, how I perceive it, is three books, three parts of a single story, unified by one or more main characters, usually plus some secondary characters and a consistant plotline, which, more or less, starts at the first book, later evolves and the final part brings a closure. I might be jumping ahead too much, as I'm already reading the third book, though my review is only about the second one but still ...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
Indeed, this was very different from Altered Carbon, as many of my GR friends said before. And I had to get used to it. But maybe because I read A.C. a couple of years before, this wasn't too painful of a process. Although maybe - just maybe - I was a tad more into cyberpunk noir than into this kind of story, which seems more like a traditional hard sci-fi.
Nonetheless I really liked it. It had some "Aliens" flavour, which I can only welcome and surprisingly it also reminded me of the latest ins
Kevin Kelsey
Aug 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2019
Not great, or really even passably decent. While Altered Carbon was pretty poorly written too, it at least had a really interesting mystery that unfolded over the course of the book. This one had exactly one interesting thing that was barely explored.

It's an action heavy book, that is remarkably low on action. The characters are flat, the dialogue is cringey, the sex scenes are "niceguy" fantasies, and the story is so simplistic that if you just took out all of the times Kovacs talks endlessly a
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Great follow up to Altered Carbon. The Takeshi Kovacs novels are original, inventive, high octane SF at its best. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels have a stellar reputation among hard core science fiction fans. I have previously enjoyed reading Morgan's first book in the series, the exciting Altered Carbon , which introduces the Takeshi Kovacs character to the world.

In the second book Broken Angels , Morgan puts Kovacs in another compelling and very dangerous situation, while still maintaining the character's unlikeability. The themes of the first book, explicit sexuality, corporate greed, capit
David Sven
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audiobooks
Takeshi Kovacs is back in black (literally) and badasserer than ever.

Also back is narrator Todd Mclaren who gave a solid audio performance. I can't imagine anyone else as the voice of Kovacs. I don't know how I'd like him for other books but he has been a good fit for this series so far.

This book pretty much reads as a standalone. You don't need to read the first book at all to enjoy this and pick up what's going on. It's a completely different story. Completely different sub genre even.

সালমান হক
Not as exciting as the first one. Plenty of unnecessary sex scenes. In altered carbon the scenes were there for the plot, but this time.... meh. Nevertheless a pretty good read.
Scott Holstad
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I didn't think this was a good follow up to Altered Carbon, a book I really liked. In it, Takeshi Kovacs is a 25th century ex-military noir detective who has been resleeved (lived quite a few lives) and who solves a murder/suicide mystery. It's a good tale. I expected more of the same. Now, in a sequel, you do expect the author to deviate a LITTLE from the original, or it'd be more of the same. Same with music. But this? In Broken Angels, Takeshi Kovacs is a mercenary who is persuaded to become ...more
John McDermott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it
While not as good as Altered Carbon, this still has enough going on to be interesting. It's more a creepy ghost story than a mystery, and for a while there's some excellent suspense - Who might be sabotaging the crew from within? Who might come out from the other side of that Martian gate? And what will those crazy nanobots think of next? Be forwarned, though, that herein lies the absolute worst sex scene that has ever been put to paper. The fact that is takes place in virtual reality is no excu ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Takeshi Kovacs knew the dame was trouble from the moment he met her ... Of course, in Broken Angels the dame in question doesn't come slinking into his 1940s gumshoe office; instead, as the story opens Takeshi and some, um, associates have been hired to retrieve the dame in question, Tanya Wardani, from a prison camp. Wardani's an archaeologue, see, and there's this alien artifact in a cave ...

This is a very different book than Altered Carbon -- Altered Carbon was a consciously noir mystery set
Nothing like its predecessor, story-wise, this follow-up on Takeshi Kovacs is nonetheless a brutal adrenaline-fueled ride from start to finish and a worthy successor to Altered Carbon.


Where Altered Carbon was a noir detective/mystery romp set on Earth in the far future, with a lot of local intrigue and a personal vendetta mixed in for good fun, Broken Angels throws us smack in the middle of an orange/blue world, torn apart by civil war, despots and corporate greed. In the midst of all this,
C.T. Phipps
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grimdark, cyberpunk

Broken Angels is the second novel of the Takeshi Kovacs series. Whereas Altered Carbon was a future noir detective story in the future, Broken Angels is a war picture. Even the decades change with Altered Carbon feeling vaguely 1940s-like, Broken Angels feels like it takes place in a pseudo-Vietnam. I was initially disappointed to see none of the original cast was returning from the first book but Takeshi himself and that this took place no less than thirt
Jason Kelley
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it
It's just not as good as the first one!

OK, there, I said it. And I mean it.

I can only imagine that writing a follow up to critically acclaimed novel has got to be a bummer. Think about it. You got this big awesome first story with all these great ingredients and an amazingly complex and fascinating protagonist. You also got mad style as a writer. And you definately have a book deal for a sequel that might actually pay the bills for the year and leave you in peace to write. Sounds not so bad hu
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
15% good stuff, just enough to keep you plowing sadly on to the dull ending. Even the final firefight seems long-winded.

After the first Takeshita book, Altered Carbon, I had hoped Morgan had acquired some better pacing and self-editing, but no. This one is even more self-indulgent and disappointing.

And worst of all, we see no growth in Takeshi's character or motives. Here he's just a brutal killer with even less regard for truth or justice than before.

There are more hints of how the story mig
Anthony Ryan
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Body-hopping secret agent Takeshi Kovacs traverses a less-than perfect pan- galactic future where identities can be recorded and transferred from one genetically engineered ‘sleeve’ to another. The second novel from the master of SF-noir is an intelligent high-tech actioner expanding the world first seen in Altered Carbon. High-tech weaponry, military jargon and firefights abound, but there is an important question arising from all the carnage: does identity have any meaning or even worth when i ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
While Altered Carbon is a noir inspired mystery, Broken Angels is a treasure quest. Takeshi Kovacs, having had his sentence commuted after his success in the first novel, is now making a living as a mercenary on the war torn world of Sanction IV. His Envoy skills make him a valuable asset, and thus he is suited up in an enhanced sleeve—slang term for body, whether organic or artificial—with all sorts of neurological advances (thought controlled weapon interfaces) and biochemical additives (comba ...more
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Richard Morgan's future is a strange place: digital immortality, a human civilization that spans dozens of worlds and resides in the remnants of an ancient Martian civilization, all powerful corporations that control the fates of entire worlds, and all manners of technology for killings or satisfying the more carnal needs of humanity.

In this far future mess of humanity we find Takeshi Kovacs, the erstwhile protagonist from Altered Carbon, finds himself in the middle of a protracted planetary war
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed-series
Takashi Kovacs, ex-Envoy, of Altered Carbon moves back to his first skill set as a soldier and goes to war, in a grim and technological remake of Kelly's Heroes with hints of The Forever War. And dead specters of the "Martians". ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If we take a spectrum with Chick Lit on one end and Dick Lit on the other this one is much, much closer to the latter. It has blood, gore, future tech guns, ridiculous Kalishnikovs and super human reaction times. Morgan stops his Takeshi Kovacs series from going full on Baldacci with his sleeve/cortical stack creation.

The characters can have two different deaths, real and non-real. The ability, for some, to re-sleeve after being killed, lends an even more pointless aspect to war. It subtly shad
aPriL does feral sometimes
In ‘Broken Angels’ radiation eats away at everyone’s bodies throughout the book as an ongoing planetary war also eats away at everyone’s souls. Any character with feelings of righteous belief ends up with the ashes of their belief lying at their feet. Betrayal is endemic throughout the plot. Darker than the first in the series, Altered Carbon, I can see why some would stop here at number two in the Takeshi Kovacs series.

‘Altered Carbon’ was an exploration of the rot of sexual freedom into sexua
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Second in the trilogy, this is one of the most haunting books I have read in a long while. Eerie and hard-boiled at the same time, Morgan's blend of science fiction, mystery and political fiction works but the addition of the "Martian" ship is truly weird and wonderful. Great series so far! ...more
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Continuing with Broken Angels, the second book that follows the adventures of the famously titular anti-hero, Richard Morgan returns to this series with a little more different story, as he takes us away from Earth, bringing us deep into the unknown universe, and with Takeshi Kovacs finding himself this time between a big corporate war and also with a mysterious alien discovery that will bring him against new dangers and even greater adventures.

In the faraway colony on Sanction IV, a big w
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"Broken Angels" Casting 5 96 Mar 05, 2020 11:44AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Broken Angels [July 15, 2018] 26 32 Jul 27, 2018 11:04AM  
Does the Netflix series spoil this book? 2 27 Apr 14, 2018 10:28AM  
Goodreads Librari...: please correct the page number 3 17 Dec 06, 2016 02:38PM  
The Sword and Laser: AC: Broken Angels 17 208 Mar 17, 2014 10:28AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Takeshi Kovacs series 21 343 Jul 01, 2013 02:04PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction and fantasy writer.

Other books in the series

Takeshi Kovacs (3 books)
  • Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)
  • Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs, #3)

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