February 6th, 2009

Kitty: Angry Calico

Morgan, Richard K.: Thirteen

Thirteen (2007)
Writer: Richard K. Morgan
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 544

The premise: Carl Marsalis is what they call a variant Thirteen, the result of a failed experiment to essentially create super-soldiers. Now, Carl makes his living hunting down illegal thirteens, and takes on a job that might prove too big for him. A fugitive from Mars crash-landed a ship in the ocean and has been murdering his way across what the reader recognizes as the United States. The problem with this fugitive is that like Carl, he's a thirteen, but this one might just get the better of him, and there's more than one person who wants to make sure Carl never finds the guy, let alone kill him.

My Rating

Give It Away: in the end, I'm glad I finished it, but if I'd bought this as a hard cover, I would've been very disappointed. I didn't want to finish the book at all because it takes so long to really find its footing and bring the story together, and even then, it takes its sweet, meandering time doing so. There's certainly pay offs: the main plot comes together nicely in the end, though I still feel like something's missing, and the characterization felt solid too. The problem is that the book could've been much shorter, and while it would've required sacrificing some of the insane amount of world-building, commentary, and ideas presented, I think it might've made for a tighter, more focused book. The biggest problem is that I felt ambivalent reading the whole thing: this book lacked the siren's call, and it never made me want to pick it back up again after stopping. However, in the end, it's not all that bad. If you give this book a shot, give it until you complete a chapter in PART TWO (that's 100+ pages in) just so you can see how it comes together before making any decisions on finishing the book or not.

The full review, which does include spoilers and cover-art commentary, may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.

REVIEW: Richard K. Morgan's THIRTEEN

Happy Reading! :)