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Amortals Mass Market Paperback – December 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Matt Forbeck does near-future so well, I think he's been there. Actually, I think he designed it. Then he kicked its ass." - Dan Abnett, author of Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero 

"Amortals seized me by the throat and kicked my ass." - Billy Campbell, star of The 4400

"Amortals is a fast and engrossing read, highly original, and with more than its fair share of surprises. If you like thrillers with a science-fiction edge, check out Matt Forbeck’s Amortals, and strap yourself in; it’s a wicked ride." - Bill Bodden, www.flamesrising.com

"...an SF action-thriller that satisfies on all levels." - Michael M. Jones, www.sfsite.com

"Amortals reads like a noir-ish mystery with a heavy science fictional vision. Forbeck uses a generous handful of sf-nal ideas to good effect." - John DeNardo, www.sfsignal.com

"This story sinks its claws into you early, and you won’t want to stop reading." - www.lestersmith.com

About the Author

Matt Forbeck is a popular and prolific writer of fiction and games in equal measure. He has written novels, comic books, short stories, non-fiction (including the acclaimed Marvel Comics Encyclopedia), magazine articles and computer game scripts. He has designed roleplaying games, miniatures and board games. He’s currently working on a film script and a novelisation of the online game Guild Wars.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857660020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857660022
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,287,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989. He has twenty-seven novels published to date, including the award-nominated Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and the critically acclaimed Amortals and Vegas Knights. His latest work includes the New York Times-bestselling Marvel Encyclopedia, the Magic: The Gathering comic book, the MMOs Marvel Heroes and Ghost Recon Phantoms, the Leverage novel The Con Job, the Dangerous Games trilogy of thriller novels set at Gen Con, and the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels. For more about him and his work, visit Forbeck.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Greg on November 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
It's year 2168, and Secret Service agent Ronan Dooley is investigating a savage homicide, of which he happens to be the victim. In fact, this is the eighth time Agent Dooley has died in the service of his country.

Several of Ronan's lifetimes ago, he took a bullet meant for the president. His heroic death won him the honor of becoming the first participant in Project Amortal: a medical procedure where the deceased's mind and memories are downloaded into the brain of an exact clone. The project was initially intended for heads-of-state or those whose public service had proven exceptional, but of course the few with the means to afford it could sign-up too.

When I started this book, it seemed apparent that the character of Ronan Dooley is somewhere between the likes of James Bond and Dirty Harry: a typical action hero, easily found in any number of 70's/80's action movies or TV shows, with no few of them still around today. He's a lone wolf, a cowboy, whose refusal to play by the rules causes constant friction with authority -- and he's obsessed with stopping the bad guy.

It just so happens that I love that type of character. I know many will groan "Not another one," but you have to admit: there's something appealing about the combination of coolness, bad-@$$-ness, and flippant disregard of danger or authority.

However, that's just the first impression. Well, admittedly not just the first impression, because Agent Dooley is that type of character, albeit with a unique twist. And I must state, the plot really didn't seem all that original to me either. Nonetheless, in the span of few chapters, I went from only slightly interested, to thinking, "Hey, this isn't half bad," to being genuinely sucked in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darrin L. Drader on June 12, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm going to start by stating that my bias toward any book is that I prefer a good human story first and foremost, while genre tropes take a back seat. I've always had a love - hate relationship with science fiction, because many books read like a technical manual and seem to forget that there are certain things we need to have a good, engaging story, such as deep characters, interesting plot twists, and thought provoking subjects.

Amortals is the story of Ronan Dooley, an Amortal, who has served in the secret service for a couple hundred years. Amortals are people who have had their consciousness preserved and uploaded into cloned bodies, allowing them to live on past the death of their first body. The story has the kind of action that you would expect from a Hollywood movie, but there's a very touching human element to the book that you simply don't find in a lot of action movies. I'd go into specifics, but I think it would be a crime to spoil any of this book for would-be readers.

One of the things that all science fiction should always do is introduce some new science and then explore the way that it changes the human condition. Forebeck is well aware of the importance of this. While the focus of the book is action, the question of how immortality changes society is an important theme that is explored throughout the book.

Another detail that you might find important is that the book is written in the first person, from the perspective of Ronan Dooley (my preference as a reader has always been third person limited). The voice conveys a great deal about the character. It is very well written. Also, there is an extra section in the back that gives a great deal more information about the book's background, and Forebeck's thoughts on various topics relating to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen D. Sullivan on November 26, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the near future, those who can afford it will be re-born again and again, shedding their mortality and becoming "amortals." Matt Forbeck combines this intriguing premise with a solid detective action story, as our hero -- an amortal Secret Service agent -- hunts through Washington DC and environs for his own killer. That's right, he's back from the dead to find out who ended his last life.

Forbeck's solid writing and futurist sci-fi trappings really make this story jump off the page (or the Kindle screen, where I read it). Amortals is a page-turner in the best sense of the word. Several times, I found myself literally unable to put the book down as the cliffhanger chapter finales propelled me to read further.

The book's only drawback is a bit of a lull at the start of the third act, when many of the ongoing plot lines and mysteries are resolved. After that, though, it's straight on to an exciting finish that would do any sci-fi action movie proud. The action-packed ending will leave you thinking as well, and what more can a sci-fi reader ask than that?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shadowhawk reviews another Matt Forbeck title, in which the author tackles the near future where those in power have a bent for cloning and resurrection.

"Incredibly gripping and a downright science-fiction thriller, Amortals is a non-stop roller-coaster ride." ~The Founding Fields

Note: minor opening spoilers mentioned.

I really can't say this enough: Matt Forbeck is bloody brilliant (to quote my review of his most recent novel for Angry Robot, Carpathia). Coming off Carpathia, Amortals is almost a natural choice for a second introduction to his work. Where one is a near-past paranormal action novel that reimagines the sinking of the Titanic, the other is a near-future tale of fantastic conspiracies in a world dominated by cloning and genetic resurrection. Where one is a novel from the viewpoint of several protagonists, the other is from the first-person perspective of a Secret Service agent who just won't die. I picked up Amortals at a whim because I wanted to read more Matt Forbeck and so going in I expected to be as wowed and amazed as I was with Carpathia. And if there is one thing that Matt Forbeck does, he never disappoints!

Amortals starts off with one of the most shocking beginnings I have ever read: we are treated to a front row seat as we watch the protagonist, Ronan Dooley, get brutally and almost clinically murdered while being tied to a chair and blindfolded. There is so much inherent casual violence in those scenes that it really affects you. That's what pulled me into the novel straight away and why I knew that this was going to be an awesome novel.
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