Richard K. Morgan’s “Thirteen”

Genetic ubermen, religious nutters, Mars colonies, USA in pieces and sex in Instanbul. Morgan’s latest Thirteen has an ambitious sprawl to it that his other works have not had. Morgan’s work always has excellent action scenes sexual or combat, take your pick. However, there is alot more discussion in this one about what is going one in the world that Morgan has created than is found in his Kovacs novels. This could be for many reasons but my guess is that, primarly, he wants you to understand the links between the world of Thirteen and the one we live in. I’ll leave that at, “it ain’t pretty”. This book is longer than his previous novels and that is down to an increase in the number of characters present, this is his most complex stand alone book to date. This is where I think he’s gotten himself in a bit of trouble. The number of characters required to tell this story the way he has chosen to results in much dialogue and too many of his characters like to gloat about being smarter, tougher or whatever. Just seems to be unnecessary, makes you feel as though the protagonist is a bit of a chump, and gets in the way of the story’s flow. Does it ruin it, no. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who has read his previous books or is just interested in hard boiled sci-fi that has good sex, stomping fights and a story with interesting characters set in a not unrealistic, if a bit far fetched, near future. Another fine piece of work from Morgan.

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