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Thirteen Paperback


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Thirteen + Market Forces + Woken Furies: A Takeshi Kovacs Novel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345480899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345480897
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This stellar new stand-alone from Morgan, known for his compelling future noir thrillers (Altered Carbon, etc.), raises tantalizing questions about the nature of humanity. Future governments have used genetic manipulation to create subhumans twisted to fit specialized tasks. Normal people are intrigued as well as repulsed, but they instinctively dread variation thirteen, an aggressive, ruthless throwback to a time before civilization. When a thirteen escapes from exile on Mars and apparently goes on an insane killing spree, Carl Marsalis, a soul-weary freelance thirteen hit man, is hired to help track him down. Morgan goes beyond the SF cliché of the genetically enhanced superman to examine how personality is shaped by nature and experience. Marsalis is more empathetic than the normal people around him, but they can see him only as an untrustworthy killer. At the same time, surveying corrupt, fractured normal society, the novel questions whether the thirteens are just less successful at hiding their motives. Without slowing down the headlong rush of the action, the complex, looping plot suggests that all people may be less—or more—than they seem. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award for Altered Carbon (see below), his debut novel, and the author of successful follow-ups Broken Angels (**** July/Aug 2004) and Woken Furies, as well as the stand-alone Market Forces (*** May/June 2005), Richard K. Morgan and his characters are hardly strangers to violent dystopias. Thirteen, published simultaneously in Britain as Black Man, tackles some difficult issues, including race and identity. The result is perhaps less compelling than some of Morgan's previous work, and the novel could have been shorter. Still, the author can hardly be accused of simply retreading familiar ground. Thirteen is a solid effort for Morgan's devotees, as well as a good read for fans of military sci-fi with a twist.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

Richard Morgan was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Customer Reviews

Way, waaay too much character development and far too little plot development.
Michael Downs
Im not saying he doesnt have the right to write these things, just that it does no one any good to do so, and a disclaimer would have been nice.
Ryan
A fantastic mystery, great characters, a very very interesting view of our future, and terrific story telling.
RoccoFan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Cadeyrn on July 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm having a hard time coalescing my thoughts on this one. On the one hand, my first thought midway through the book was that someone ought to get on the job of making "13" tee shirts. On completing the book, I wanted to go get that tee shirt, wear it to the mall and stare down anyone who questioned me - just because. In fact, just as Fight Club spawned imitation clubs around the nation, I thought that there are still Thirteen personality types running about, and they might start to form informal networks to combat the influence of the Cudlips (as incongruous as that might sound). I conclude in some respects, the book is extremely compelling.

In other respects, although a huge fan of Mr. Morgan's earlier work (Altered Carbon is one for the ages) I think Market Forces was kind of a miss, and Thirteen, although a compelling read, didn't quite take it over the edge either. There were several stylistic problems - names too close to each other, different characters referenced by the same name - which didn't appear in his earlier works, and a lot of the promised and implied consideration of race, gender, identity and even species didn't seem fully developed. A lot of the characters have seemingly identical experiences (illegal pregnancy - with a child of a Thirteen; waking up early on the Mars flight) but whether this was deliberate or intended to draw comparisons or contrasts seemed unresolved. Marsalis could have been Kovacs' spiritual great-great grandfather when it comes to choices of weapons and problem-solving techniques, but given those tendencies, the plot developments seemed predictable.
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Format: Hardcover
First I have to give credit to writer Richard K. Morgan for his latest novel THIRTEEN; Morgan's latest novel is an ambitious affair tackling a lot of major themes with some of his most complex characters to date. Morgan's latest is very good a lot of the time but some of the subplots don't gel and actually slow down the main narrative without adding much substance to it. Even if THIRTEEN isn't a perfect novel, it demonstrates that Morgan's skills as a writer are continuing to grow.

A summary of the plot follows:

When a shuttle between Mars and Earth crash lands in the Pacific Ocean with body partsfrom the passengers strewn throughout the ship, COLONY Executives Sevgi Eretkin and senior partner Tom Norton are called in to investigate and find out which passenger woke up prematurely, used the autosurgeon to cut up and eat all the sleeping passengers. They discover that a Thirteen a genetically enhanced soldier that had been banished to Mars (or to a resettlement area)after they were no longer useful and deemed a threat was behind the murders eating the crew because his sleeping chamber opened prematurely. Now he is on a killing spree and they aren't sure why.

They partner up with Carl Marsalis another Thirteen who makes a living hunting other Thirteens and either bringing them in for resettlement or killing them. Seen as a traitor to his own kind and never accepted by humanity, Marsalis is a bruised outcast who tries to do the right thing while surviving in a world where he's not welcome. When it comes to light that the escaped Thirteen Alan Merrin had help in escaping and that he's part of a far larger plan, Marsalis and Ertekin feel compelled to track him down and find out the larger truth behind his escape.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By No Reason on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Takeshi novels were great. Kovacs' predisposition to violence accompanied by somber soul-searching was fun. The trilogy raised interesting philosophical issues to ponder while delivering a quick-paced, bizarre, and engaging plot.

Th1rte3n does not do this. Sadly, Thirteen, like it's l33t-speak title, seems content to mindlessly chant those well-worn cliches that we've already grown tired of. The reader is pounded with paragraph after paragraph describing items and places unrelated to the plot, and filling us in on the background for how tragically stereotypical the future will turn out to be.

The book appears at times to try to weave Market Forces and Kovacs references together in an attempt to please all audiences. But, just like the cameo appearances of actors in sequels, the effect is more cloying than creative.

Morgan is a great writer. I expected better.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Glenn S. Garrett on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
The only thing spellbinding about this book was that someone reviewed it as "spellbinding". Someone at the bindery must have accidently put the wrong cover on a Takeshi Kovacs novel for the reviewer.

To begin with the book is only a fair read. Some action, some sci-fi, nothing groundbreaking. I read it through, only finishing because I came three quarters through when it stalls out hopelessly. I am a fan of Morgan's earlier Kovacs novels. If you like those books then you will quickly realize that the tone is pretty similar minus the sleeving technology. The book goes off the rails when he starts painting the future in pretty simplistic political terms. Jesusland.. Really? The concept of the THIRTEEN is a good one but somewhere in the middle of the book there is a full blown seminar on Anthropological societal development that sounds like he wrote it right out of his research notebook when he got off the phone with whatever college professor he uses. Then there's Peru... The author must have wanted to vacation somewhere and write it off as work expense. The whole book is weak on plot. All the female characters are interchangeable. Same personality, same dialog just paper cut outs. BUT BY FAR the most unforgivable aspect is the main character is english... Say it with me English. Yet he is written with no location specific speech, vernacular cadence... nothing. He makes no real English references, has no cultural differences whatsoever. Of course none of the characters have except the ignorant southerners.
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