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Broken Angels    by Richard Morgan order for
Broken Angels
by Richard Morgan
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This sequel takes place three decades after the time of Altered Carbon. This time, our body-swapping Envoy Corps hero, Takeshi Kovacs, has been decanted as an Afro-Caribbean Lieutenant on Sanction IV, where the Protectorate is fighting to put down a 26th century revolution.

Richard Morgan postulates a universe, in which exploration of Mars uncovered artifacts of a previous civilization, including maps to nearby habitable solar systems. This led to further exploration, colonization, discovery of more Martian remnants, and a spread of humanity across ideologies and cultures in space. Death is no longer final. Newborns are fitted with a stack. It stores the soul and current experience digitally, and can be downloaded into a new body, a sleeve.

Recuperating from serious injuries, Kovacs meets adventurer Jan Schneider in a Protectorate orbital hospital. Schneider tells him of a gateway found at a Martian site on Sanction IV, leading to an enormous spaceship. This treasure trove has been abandoned for eons, but is still operational. The duo bring in archeologist Tanya Wardani and Mandrake corporate executive Matthias Hand to round out their partnership. They only have to get through a world at war, and assorted competitors, to reach the ship and win the prize.

As in his exciting debut, Morgan gives readers a twisting plot full of intriguing technology and gory action, with hidden agendas and betrayals around every corner. Those who enjoy military SF will love Broken Angels, a worthy successor to Altered Carbon.

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