I’ve just finished Richard Morgan’s “Woken Furies”. This is the third book in the Takeshi Kovacs series (the previous two books were “Altered Carbon” and “Broken Angels”). In this book we see Kovacs back on his home planet of Harlem’s World dealing with assorted bits of intelligent military hardware, religious fanatics, gangsters, the immortal first families, a couple of Envoys and the ghost of Quellcrist Falconer.
I think this is perhaps the least shockingly violent of Morgan’s four books (“Market Forces” being the other book outside the Kovacs series). However, it still manages to make something like the “dark” Revenge of the Sith look like a childrens Christmas carol. After all this is a Richard Morgan book, so the body count is high and the violence is extreme. If Kovacs appears perhaps a little less morally ambivalent than in previous books it is only because the justification for some of his more extreme behaviour is explained to us in more detail than before.
As we expect from his previous books, the story is very fast paced. My impression is that the was it seemed shorter than “Altered Carbon” or “Broken Angels”, althugh this doesn’t appear to be tru in reality – Amazon says it is 400 pages while “Broken Angels” was 484 pages. Perhaps it is that “Woken Furies” doesn’t create quite as deep a universe as the previous books did. For instance, while “Altered Carbon” added depth to the storyline by using prior events and “Broken Angels” explored the Martian civilization, “Woken Furies” had little back-story that wasn’t directly related to the plot.
Morgan hasn’t become any less imaginative, though. The use of diseases as a substitute for recreational drugs is a device that I have never some across before and the evolving abandoned military machines were also unique.
Overall, I found “Woken Furies” an enjoyable read, but not quite to the same amazing level as “Altered Carbon”. I’d give it 4 stars.