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Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan
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Thirteen (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Richard K. Morgan

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1,299456,031 (3.8)100
Member:matociquala
Title:Thirteen
Authors:Richard K. Morgan
Info:Del Rey (2007), Hardcover
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Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan (2007)

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    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: A thriller and a tragic romance--both authors explore the ethics of people created for specific purposes from the perspectives of those created individuals.
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    Kiln People by David Brin (grizzly.anderson)
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English (43)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Apart from a boring episode consisting of "variants" contemplating their sex-life (though not as drawn out and graphic as in the Kovacs novels) this is some of the best (post-)cyberpunk I've read in quite a while. More hard boiled detective story than the Kovacs novels makes this, at least to me, feel more solid with the plot being less haphazard (even though I love the Kovacs novels too).

( )
  TiloWiklund | Apr 3, 2016 |
Marsalis in one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public condemned the suersolders as dangerous mutants, dooming the thirteens to forced exile on Earth's distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip bac - and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man. that was before a police sting landed him prison - a fate worse than mars, and much more dangerous.

Lucky for him, his "enhanced" life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skill to bring in a fugitive. But Marsalis's prey is no common criminal. he's antoher thirteen - one who's already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. and like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there's no question that Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is can he remain sane and alive long enough to succeed?
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Carl Marsalis seems like a lucky man. Thirty-odd years ago the US and UK created genetically modified soldiers, called "Thirteens", but when public horror shut the project down, the Thirteens were put into camps or shipped off to Mars. Carl is one of the few permitted to roam free--on the condition that he hunt down other Thirteens, who have left their reservations without permission. His latest mission is to stop Merrin, a Thirteen who tortured, ate, and mutilated the corpses of his fellow passengers on a flight from Mars.

Despite the thriller plot, the majority of this book was actually a slow slog for me. The characters (especially, but not only, Carl) communicate mostly in several-page rants whose main points seem to be how tough the speaker is, how hard they've had it, and how terribly unfair the world is. And it is a terrible world! Morgan is master at creating dystopias and the hard-bitten noir types who survive in them. But I can only read so many monologues per chapter, and each of the characters is so disheartened, jaded and unhappy that reading their thoughts was a drag. The other problem is that the first 400 pages are just Carl and his various police and COLIN partners taking suborb flights all over the world to try to intimidate and threaten various underworld types (most of whom get monologues of their own). It seems very pointless. Now, all that time bumbling around does actually have a point, because all the while Morgan is dropping hints and clues to a worldwide conspiracy. In the final few chapters, all of it comes tumbling together into a beautiful solution that makes sense of everything, even bits I didn't realize had confused me before.

I really was impressed by the mystery/thriller writing--it's some of the best I've seen. But it couldn't make up for how unpleasant I found hyper-masculine Carl, nor how bored I was by the sentence fragments that make up the narration. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
The main character is virtaully unstoppable and that's always reassuring...I like the way Morgan forces us to think about a future not all that different than our present, but I too prefer the Kovacs character... ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This reads as an explosion of talent; rough around the edges, but it's got depth. Morgan has built a well thought-out world for his characters to live in, so much so that the plot of this book takes a backseat to pretty much everything else.
I'm writing this about 80% of the way through, and I don't expect that I'll need to edit my impressions based on the next 20%. For me, this book isn't the murder mystery, it's the landscapes, lore, and depth.
If you love to get lost in a world skillfully built and masterfully exposed, give this a read.
I'd award one more star if I cared about the plot in any capacity other than a reason to justify a constant change of scenery. ( )
  liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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Richard K. Morganprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345485254, Hardcover)

The future isn’t what it used to be since Richard K. Morgan arrived on the scene. He unleashed Takeshi Kovacs–private eye, soldier of fortune, and all-purpose antihero–into the body-swapping, hard-boiled, urban jungle of tomorrow in Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in the process. In Market Forces, he launched corporate gladiator Chris Faulkner into the brave new business of war-for-profit. Now, in Thirteen, Morgan radically reshapes and recharges science fiction yet again, with a new and unforgettable hero in Carl Marsalis: hybrid, hired gun, and a man without a country . . . or a planet.

Marsalis is one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth’s distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back–and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man before a police sting landed him in prison–a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous.

Luckily, his “enhanced” life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in another fugitive. But this one is no common criminal. He’s another Thirteen–one who’s already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there’s no question Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: can he remain sane–and alive–long enough to succeed?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"In Thirteen, Richard Morgan reshapes and recharges science fiction, with a new hero in Carl Marsalis: hybrid, hired gun, and a man without a country ... or a planet." "Marsalis is one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public condemned the supersoldiers as dangerous mutants, dooming the thirteens to forced exile on Earth's distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back - and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man. That was before a police sting landed him in prison - a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous." "Lucky for him, his "enhanced" life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in a fugitive. But Marsalis's prey is no common criminal. He's another thirteen - one who's already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there's no question that Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: Can he remain sane - and alive - long enough to succeed?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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