TLDR: I give Broken Angels 5 out of 5 stars.
I read other reviews of Broken Angels by Richard Morgan on Goodreads and I agree with a lot of the criticism: Morgan has a bizarre comma to period ratio, this book may be even more confusing than Altered Carbon (which is saying something), and the stakes are less personal.
…yet I can’t bring myself to care.
I’m fascinated by the characters. I love the descriptions of the clouds and the ocean and the tech. I didn’t even mind that when the loose ends were tied up at the end I realized that I hadn’t even been looking for all the clues that were dropped. As always, I love the political Quell quotes.
Altered Carbon was Cyberpunk-Noir. Broken Angels is a different animal, call it Cyberpunk-Tour-of-Wonders. Now we get to explore another world, see alien artifacts, and still there is the underlying influence of immortality-granting re-sleeving technology.
I ate it up.
When Morgan shoots for humor, he nails it for me. If there is one detail that summarizes his world building and sharp wit, its that one of the characters has a PhD in Conflict Investment. It’s so subtly evil. War Profiteering would have been heavy handed, but Conflict Investment is this academic, sterilized, clinical thing, disconnected from the pain and horror of war. It’s evil and frightening and the only hope Morgan gives us is the embers of morality, buried deep in Takeshi Kovacs, that might someday kindle a flame.