Jason Kelley's Reviews > Broken Angels

Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan
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's review
Jul 22, 2008

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 huh? But really, what the hell are you supposed to do with this awesome character that could possibly top the first novel? Maybe put the character on a different planet? Maybe instead of him being given a detective type mystery he could be knee-deep into a revolutionary war? No wait, I got it..... Martians! Let's bring some martians into it. Not actual martians, but their apparently forgotten ruins. Sounds a little formulaic doesn't it? Well it is. Now, don't get me wrong, I love stories of martians, space-faring war technology, and intrigue. But Morgan tries to plug this character we all grew to hate/love straight down into a cliche and sub-par plot. And frankly I'm just baffled to no end how this very creative and talented writer could follow up his masterpiece with, well, something so average. And since I'm not a writer I'm just going to guess that Morgan was, well, really bummed out he blew his whole load on Altered Carbon, and simply had no energy remaining to get very creative.

Why three stars then? Because it's not horrible. Nor does it completely lack exciting action and creative concepts. It's just a disappointment.

Side Note: Daffodil says "If I had read this before Altered Carbon, I might not have actually read Altered Carbon."
Well put.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 22, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Betsey interesting. I didn't have as strong a level of disappointment as you did. I don't think Morgan has yet topped his 1st published book, but I think Broken Angels is not his worst!

Jason Kelley Oh, I do want to comment on one more thing. Morgan created this type of dialog system that Kovacs and other military personal were using with each other. At first I was very confused. I keep thinking that he was trying to use the detective noir dialog system and that it just wasn't working. But once I realized my mistake, I became accustomed to the style and was really impressed.

So, Betsy, what is the worst? I want to avoid it if possible.

Betsey oh, the worst is Market Forces. It was the first novel he wrote, and he coudn't sell it. He somehow convinced someone to publish it after the successful Kovacs series. It bites. It's almost campy it's so bad. The most recent, Thirteen, is ok. Not fantastico like Altered Carbon, but good.

Michelle I have to agree with you Jason, 100%. I kept on slogging through this book thinking, "ok, any minute now, something crazy is going to happen and it's going to get really good." But it never really did. The whole Martian thing just wore me down and by end, totally grated my nerves.

I suppose it'd be hard to top Altered Carbon, no matter what. If he'd done another detective-style storyline, he probably would've been equally slammed for being formulaic.

Haven't read Market Forces, but I'm going to stay far away from it now.

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