When they asked how I died, I said, tell them: Still angry
Why I read this book
This was the March Laser pick from the Sword & Laser book club.
What the book is about
In the future, you can change from body fairly easily, assuming you have the money to afford it. Your consciousness, you thoughts can be uploaded to a different sleeve if you wish so, or even to clones of yourself so you can almost live forever. Takeshi Kovacs a trained Envoy has been forcibly hired to uncover the mystery of a death. The murder has been ruled out as suicide, but the victim does not trust the judgement. Kovacs will try to solve the question and in doing so will entangle himself on a very complicated web that involves the darkest circles in Bay City.
The premise e of the book is very interesting; the author questions amongst other things, what defines who we are. At to which point who we are is determined by the body we are in and what depends solely on our minds. While doing so he touches also the idea of a soul, eternity and real death. His critic on religion is quite punch too.
I quite enjoyed this book, particularly the way it questions identity in several levels. As a detective, noir novella, I believe there are more things to be worked on, but considering this is a first work I thinks it is understandable. Some things that would've helped me lean towards a full 5/5 was the conclusions Kovacs made all along the books. Sometimes I had to re read the paragraph several times and still it wouldn't be clear to me how did he come to a certain idea. While off course I know that part of a detective's job is based on intuition one think I like about crime novels is reading the train of thought of the main character. Having the palm in my forehead moment, if you know what I mean.
Do I think some of the violence and sex scenes were a bit too charged? Yes I do, however this crudeness is probably what makes this book so god in terms of action flow. Some parts of the book are so charged of things happening, actually, that you will have to be fully concentrated or you might get lost. I'm talking from experience here people!
In general a very entertaining noir novella. I've read commentaries saying that as Morgan points at identity in this book, in the rest of the trilogy he tackles some other profound subjects and is mostly curiosity about how he does so that makes me want to continue with Kovacs' story.