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Publisher's Summary

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?
©2007 Richard K. Morgan (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Stellar." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By L. on 07-10-07

WOW, Morgan Does it again!

When I read "Altered Carbon" I said it was the New book by which I would judge all others. Morgan just keeps writing excellent books in the "Used Future", and not just the same books with the same characters (which I actually wouldn't mind seeing with the Takeshi Kovacs series), but different people in different settings in different time periods... he constantly proves he's multi-talented and can write on any level. He writes the way I wish *I* could.

I researched Morgan a bit and found out we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and I was probably misreading the social commentary written into his work, or maybe not, because as I have said before, "If the Left could accept guns, and the Right could accept drugs, we'd all be closer to the middle than most people think".

"Thirteen", was another of those books that I couldn't put down. "MP3 player in the pocket until it was done", etc... and then I had to reflect on it a few days to let it soak in before writing a review.

The Sex is hardcore, NOT for the Kiddies, but it's not just stuck in there "out of place". I didn't think it detracted from the story any.

I don't know if Morgan actually shoots a lot or not (Probably not, being an academic in the U.K.), or if he just sticks in "people being blown backward by gun shots" because people expect it due to TV (I suspect this is the case)... "Stopping power" is a myth (do the math, F=MA) except with artillery shells and the like, and Morgan knows that a table won't stop bullets (on TV people can hide behind cardboard boxes safely), but then he talks about people being blown out doors and windows from being hit by a slug. Still, minor technicalities aside (for whatever reason they are in the book) it's an EXCELLENT book.

I wish I could give it 4.5 stars, and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because it wasn't quite "Altered Carbon", however it was better than Market Forces, IMHO.

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37 of 41 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By J. HOPPER on 11-17-08


When I think about this novel, I keep wanting to describe it as an "adult" book. Not in the sex/violence way that most people think of when they hear "adult", but more as a grown-up book with grown-up themes. There is sex and violence in the book, but they're not what the book is about. It's about the characters, and the society they live in. It's not always pretty, but neither is real life. But it's almost always engaging.

I had a little trouble at the beginning getting used to the reader and the story. But after the first couple of hours, I was hooked. I stayed up till 3 in the morning to finish listening to it.

Highly recommended.

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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