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Thin Air

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,371 ratings  ·  218 reviews

Richard Morgan has always been one of our most successful SF authors with his fast-moving and brutal storylines, blistering plots and a powerful social conscience behind his work.

And now he's back, with his first SF novel for eight years . . . and it promises to be a publication to remember.

An ex-corporate enforcer, Hakan Veil, is forced to bodyguard Madison Madekwe, part

400 pages
Published October 25th 2018 by Gollancz (first published October 23rd 2018)
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Chris It's been a few years since I read the first book, and if I hadn't seen this question, I might not have realised the shared world at all. This one…moreIt's been a few years since I read the first book, and if I hadn't seen this question, I might not have realised the shared world at all. This one works perfectly as a stand-alone(less)

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Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the people that want to kill me barely have the budget for a nice knife.

Hakan Veil, ex-Overrider and now muscle for hire, is running hot after coming out of his four month hibernoid sleep rotation. All systems are cranked high, with emotion and aggression responses dialled right up to max, and that’s before everything turns to shit. Someone in the criminal underworld has aggressively disappeared a client he stepped in to protect on his last waking cycle and that’s the kind of disrespect
Like his 2002 hit “Altered Carbon”, this one is a great blend of detective noir and cyberpunk in a dystopian world. Instead of shipping a detective self to far planets by sleeving a digital personality into a receiving body, the future tech staged here on a colonial, terraformed Mars is in the realm of bioengineering, artificial intelligence implants, and nanotechnology. Instead of Tak in the earlier series, our similar hero here is Hak, short for Hakan Veil, and he is a weapon incarnate.

Veil h
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! To be fair, I have been looking forward to reading more Morgan since the devouring the trilogy that started with Altered Carbon. Wasn't quite sure I wanted to go the fantasy route with him, but his SF?

It's an automatic Hell Yes. I'm a big fan of Cyberpunk and Noir fiction and this has all the same great features (if less technologically advanced) as Altered Carbon. Think Noir disgraced military turned gumshoe but put him firmly on a Mars surrounded by corruption, nasty corporate tricks, an
This is a standalone novel set in the same universe as Thirteen but as the action is pretty much all Mars (with some flashbacks from Hakan Veil's past as overrider - see below - and discussing a few important geopolitical events in the rest of the Solar System that impact the storyline) one doesn't need to read the other book (I read it a while ago on publication and didn't like it that much - the only thing I remember is that the usual RK Morgan twist, namely the main villain is the main hero's ...more
kartik narayanan
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thin Air is in the same vein as Takeshi Kovacs but the noirish/hard boiled element is much more.

Hakan Veil is an ex-black ops operative who is now dabbling in crime to keep himself alive. He is a manufactured product developed by a corporation to help them 'solve' problems - usually permanently. He is now unemployed but still has to pay for hibernation. As character, I really liked Hakan. He starts off as an amoral person but soon we get to see hidden depths in him with elements of humanity tha
Robert Davis
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED … This book is a whole lot of fun!

It is, essentially, a hard-boiled noir detective story set on the Red Planet. Think of Mike Hammer on Mars! Although set in the same universe as Thirteen, it is a stand alone novel and completely separate from its' predecessor. Meaning, if you haven't read Thirteen, no worries, you will have no problem with starting here. In many ways, I think Thin Air is superior in style and overall fun. It is a great combination of old fashioned detective n
Aug 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
A while back my fiancée and I tried watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. We made it through one episode with no interest to continue. That should have been a good indication that Morgan’s stories may not be for me, but then again Netflix has long traded quality for quantity and Morgan’s new book showed up on Netgalley and it’s been a while since I read some scifi and it was set on Mars, so I took a chance. A decision I’ve come to regret over and over during the countless, ok, not really, it was t ...more
“Thin Air” is a grim swaggering tour-de-force of hardscrabble cyberpunk thrills. Take a gene-enhanced cyborg trained killer exiled by the corporate overlords to spend the rest of his waking hours on the frontier of Mars where the cities are filled with beating nightclubs, egotripping stars, lightshows, strippers, and corruption by the armful. Surround that city with the frontier valley, filled with prospectors hoping to find fabled El Dorado, tight knit, loyal, distrustful of outsiders. Cyborg V ...more
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
109th book for 2018.

Every so often when the corruption of this World gets too high, I need a hit of cynical ultraviolent scifi, and who better to deliver this than Richard K Morgan? His first two Takeshi Kovacs novels (Altered Carbon and Woken Furies) are among my all time favorite books, his world-building and character development were phenomenal (forget the obscene corporate saccharine wankfest television series designed for maximum appeal to a brain-dead publicum).

Like most (all?) RKM books
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't wake the overrider....

As catchy mantras go, I like it, ... and it grew on me (... no, I didn't get it at first, maybe I was a little slow... but), as a warning, a harbinger, or, I dunno, a curse.... If they end up making this one into a movie (or a Netflix series), I expect don't wake the overrider.... could be right up there with I'll be back.... or, I dunno, Jumanji or, for that matter, Beetlejuice, ... it's not exactly a summoning of a demon, ... but I digress.

In any event, it's been y
Michael Hicks
I've long been a fan of Richard K. Morgan's style of science fiction writing and his return to the field after a decade-long absence is certainly welcome, with Thin Air doing much to remind me why I fell in love with this author's work to begin with.

Morgan writes sci-fi that is heavily, heavily influenced by hard-boiled mysteries. Beneath all the whiz-bang high-tech wrappings of interstellar colonization, cybernetic augments, and next-gen weaponry, there's a grizzled take on the classic PI - do
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
“Thin Air” by Richard K. Morgan is the latest book by the author of the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy (Altered Carbon, Woken Furies, Broken Angels) and especially “Thirteen”/“Black Man,” the last of which is set in the same universe. Like those books, “Thin Air” is a noir sci-fi thriller featuring an ultra-violent, surgically enhanced, anti-hero who has a weak spot for the underclass in society. This time the protagonist is named Hakan Veil, a former Earth-born mercenary who has been trapped on Mars af ...more
Judy Lesley
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: noir, science-fiction
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a digital galley of this novel.

If you check out the information for this book it shows 544 pages, the Goodreads info shows 400. I can tell you it definitely feels more like the 544. And it started off so well with Richard K Morgan getting the noir element just perfectly blended with the science fiction. I was fully on board with Hakan Veil and his backstory of the four months of the year cryo sleep, coming out o
Karen’s Library
I watched Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon on Netflix when it first came out and was so enthralled with the sci-fi, tech, and premise, that I watched all 10 episodes in a weekend and then bought the book to read. That was my first Richard K. Morgan book and I really enjoyed it.

When the chance came to read a new sci-fi book of his that was set on Mars, I jumped at the opportunity as I love everything Mars. Hak is an overrider exiled to Mars. He’s been bred as an elite soldier/warrior and has en
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hard men
Recommended to Alan by: Altered Carbon, according to the cover
These days, as my wife reminds me, it is often possible to judge a book by its cover—and that it's particularly telling when the cover only mentions an author's previous work.

Richard K. Morgan's novel Altered Carbon amazed me—twice, in fact, most recently in 2011—and its popular, high-profile Netflix screen adaptation just came out in 2018. Perhaps that's enough to explain why Morgan's new novel mentions Altered Carbon so prominently on its front cover, and why the quotes on the back are all abo
Steven Shaviro
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Richard K Morgan has long been one of my favorite science fiction writers. This book marks his return to science fiction after writing a fantasy trilogy. That trilogy was pretty good, but I found it intrinsically less interesting than his science fiction work, so this new novel is a welcome return to form. Thin Air takes place in the same universe as Morgan’s last SF novel, THIRTEEN (US title; it was originally called BLACK MAN in the UK), but it is not a sequel; the two books are entirely indep ...more
Adam Whitehead
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Bradbury City, Mars. Hak Veil used to pilot ships through the blackness between worlds, acting as a highly-trained combat operative. After a few things went wrong, he's wound up abandoned on the Red Planet, trying to find a way of getting back to Earth. His unique abilities allow him to find work in the most unlikely of places and his new job is a doozy: playing bodyguard to a pen-pusher, one of a team sent to audit the colony's finances on behalf of the colonial authorities. But things soon sta ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a particularly dense read given the rich imaginary vernacular that Morgan has imagined for Mars. Despite the sci-fi trappings this is a hardcore noir novel through and through. Mystiers, secrets, beerayal and hard action abound.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Morgan’s writing opens with a shotgun blast of Mars-speak. The slang, the technology, the background of the politics on the Red Planet… it can be dense and overwhelming, but I say stick with it. The most important info will come back around. I do have to say that there may have been one too many side missions in this one, a puzzle wrapped in a… but the ending is one of the best I’ve read in awhile. A complex wallop… it’s the big finale at the end of the fireworks show.

Thin Air is a vastly reward
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Publishing Date: October 2018

Publisher: Del Rey

ISBN: 9780345493125

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 4.8/5

Publisher’s Description: On a Mars where ruthless corporate interests violently collide with a homegrown independence movement as Earth-based overlords battle for profits and power, Hakan Veil is an ex–professional enforcer equipped with military-grade body tech that’s made him a human killing machine. But he’s had enough of the turbulent red planet, and all he wants is a ticket back home—which is just wha
The lawless wild west on Mars.
Well this should be interesting

It wasn't.
I threw in the towel at 40%.

It just wasn't a good story and the telling of it wasn't good either.

Mars is being audited by Accountants/IRS agents sent from Earth and some people are unhappy with that. An investigation into widespread corruption on Mars. Am i missing something here? Did you say audit?

Part of the problem with this book is the main character. Hakan Veil is just not interesting. I was looking for someone like Han
Alan Taylor
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thin Air is Richard Morgan’s first SciFi novel in eight years. I have to admit that I was unaware of Morgan until the Netflix adaption of his first, Altered Carbon, but, inspired by that, I then picked up the three books in that series. The latest, although set in a different ‘universe’ shares much with the earlier trilogy.
Thin Air is a hard-boiled noir. It may be set on Mars but is as influenced by Chandler, Hammett and MacDonald as it is by Ray Bradbury. The protagonist, Hakan Veil, bio-engin
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
In many ways a (welcome) return to Morgan's breakthrough first novel, Altered Carbon - a page-turning melange of Blade Runner, badassery, and cyberpunk gumshoe. The one part that didn't ring true for me, and why not 4.5 stars, was (view spoiler) ...more
Luke Burrage
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #388:

"Luke talks to Juliane about Thin Air by Richard K Morgan and how it differs from Altered Carbon."

(3.5 stars)
Unfortunately, this book was another nonstarter for me. I struggled through Altered Carbon because I wanted to understand the hype and also understand the Netflix show, but there was less reason for me to keep going on this particular book despite it being centered on a subject that's a favorite of mine (near-future Martian politics). I did manage to struggle through the first chapter, but I'll be honest--there wasn't anything happening yet at that point. That's actually a problem for me. I got ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of Richard K. Morgan's science fiction. I reread his Takeshi Kovacs trilogy every handful of years, and 'Market Forces' is a dark, nasty thrill ride that I only appreciated more once I took a job in corporate America. So when I learned that he was working on another sci-fi novel after a long break, I was eager to get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately, I'm not sure this is one I'm likely to revisit.

Part of the problem is the main character. Hakan Veil is both a "hibernoid" and an "o
Jay Batson
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to read via Netgalley in exchange for a review. I never let that aspect affect my honesty...

… as you’ll see here. I’ve given every one of the 5 books I’ve read by Richard Morgan 5 stars. They’ve been full of interesting ideas, and were well written page-turners. Sadly, this one wasn’t that for me.

The book follows Hakan Veil, a former professional security enforcer, Earth-born, bio-tech enhanced in his youth, raised for the purpose of being an extreme e
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Nezaujímavá zápletka prekvapivo držiaca sa pri zemi, zasadená do atraktívne vykresleného prostredia teraformovaného Marsu. Zaujalo, ale ničím neprekvapilo a hlavne žáner noir kyberpunku nikam neposunulo. Občas som mala pocit, že to spísal v striptízovom bare s asistenciou Charlieho Sheena. A tá nadmiera f* slovíčok. Akoby som bola na Marse v 90tych rokoch v spoločnosti Dolpha Lundgrena. 2.5*
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, books-won, cyberpunk
Okay, so first of all, I won an ARC of this and that's why I have it.

Second, well... It wasn't great. Not even really all that good. Thin Air has its moments, but uh. Not enough of them. Few and far between.

As usual, Morgan tosses the reader in blind and lets them catch up. The 'lingo, the terms, the plot; pretty much figure it out yourself. It worked in Altered Carbon, and to a lesser extent in Thirt3en. It doesn't work in Thin Air. Not enough is explained, well, ever. Some things are, but most
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Down on your luck and given a choice between jail time or a body guarding gig, what are you going to do? Hakan Veil, Hak to his few friends, Veil to everyone else, opts for the latter. The only problem is that within a matter of days, and an epic error of judgement on his part, his charge has been kidnapped. Veil could just walk away but he is far too stubborn for that. No one is going to stop him from doing his job. There is a blissful lack of complication when it comes to Veil’s methods of ret ...more
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Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction and fantasy writer.
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“Living offworld seems to trigger some stubborn aspect of our capacity for superstition; it’s like we need our monsters and our hero saviors a lot more when we’re under alien skies.” 0 likes
“There isn’t actually any escape. Once you understand this, you are empowered.” 0 likes
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