Del Rey, Mar 2004, 14.95, 384 pp.
In the twenty-fifth century, three decades have passed since Laurens Bancroft hired Takeshi Kovacs to investigate the murder of Bancroft (see ALTERED CARBON). Now Takeshi has returned to his main profession, soldering. The Protectorate of Sanction IV hired a mercenary unit that Takeshi joined to destroy an inane uprising. Wounded in action, Takeshi recovers in an orbital hospital-while his consciousness is loaded into another bodily sleeve.
He meets pilot Jan Schneider who informs Takeshi that the war interrupted her transporting of archaeologists to a Martian artifacts dig. She also says that she found a hyper gateway that is a shortcut to a distant outer space vector where she observed the find of the millennium, a Martian spaceship. Jan wants Takeshi to free the head archaeologist from the military prison so that when they find corporate backing, they can complete the mission and become wealthy without risking their lives. Jan's description is not quite as simple to execute so Takeshi does what he does best, killing others on the dangerous mission.
Though the antihero protagonist spews too much galaxy weary angst about being a killing machine, BROKEN ANGELS is a terrific futuristic outer space tale because Richard Morgan widens the look at the disorganized mess of a small galaxy sector. The author cleverly adds depth to his universe via the war, the hyperspace discovery, and the finding of ancient artifacts throughout the galaxy from a race that no one knows anything about, but experts ponder away with claims of knowledge. Takeshi is a superb lead protagonist as he takes the audience on an action-packed ride accompanied by double crossing allies who will sell him out without blinking.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner