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Thin Air

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  429 Ratings  ·  95 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, an 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 disrespe
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
Robert Lee
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cyberpunk and Noir fans
Review copy courtesy of NetGalley

This an excerpt of my full review located at:

Haken Veil is a hard-boiled muscle for hire. After getting arrested on suspicion of killing some lowlife, he somehow gets drafted into babysitting a Madison Medekwe, a corporate auditor from Earth. The purpose of her particular audit is to find out what happened to a blue-collar worker who disappeared after winning a lottery that would have paid his way back to Earth. True to tro
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
Brian Clegg
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just occasionally, you come across a book where the way that the characters speak really gives the feel of being immersed in a particular vision of the future. A Clockwork Orange and Neuromancer spring to mind. And Richard Morgan's Thin Air does exactly the same thing. The setting is a familiar one of a future colony on Mars, struggling with the environment, heavy handed corporations and interference from Earth, where enhanced humans endure the harshness of the frontier life. Yet Morgan manages ...more
Patrick St-Denis
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I heard that Richard Morgan would return to science fiction and that his new novel would be set in the same universe as his bestselling book Thirteen, I was pretty excited. The author's fantasy gig did not turn out to be as appealing as it was meant to be and I was pleased to learn that Morgan would revisit his old stomping grounds. Even better, Thin Air reads as a stand-alone work and there is no need to be conversant with what took place in Thirteen to fully enjoy his latest novel. Do rea ...more
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
Carla Patterson
I've been hoping for another novel from Morgan which was scifi more than fantasy and here it is. The story was complex and layered, made all kinds of sense, and included some really great near future developments. The universe it is set in is sort of like those of Takeshi Kovacks and The Black Man (Thirteen), without it feeling too close to either of them to be populated with either. The writing is as beautiful and evocative as ever and there were many characters to respond to emotionally coveri ...more
Stan Oakley
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Morgan returns to the science fiction genre after a long hiatus. Very well done noir style plot set on a corrupt, deteriorating Mars. Interesting human, cyborg and AI characters!
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another winner. World building on a sublight system sized scale that is downright tactile - you can almost feel its calluses as you wipe the grit from its eyes. A bad place for good guys but at least occasionally a worse one for bad guys.

A central character built into an outsider by both nature and nurture motivated by the inner whims of a personality which seems to have replaced any objective morality with its own codes.

A plot requiring said character to untangle a knot of conlicting plots and
Todd Moody
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Richard K. Morgan’s latest release, Thin Air. It is gritty SciFi at its finest. Morgan seems to have leveled up in his writing, over already highly regarded and award-winning previous work. Every sentence is crafted with care. It is a Master Class of immersive third person point of view writing.

I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Colin Mace, and for me, it was a perfect fit. Mace hit the ball out of the park and became the embodiment of Hakan Veil, the hi-tech
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
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, thriller
*copy from Netgalley ine xchange for a review*

Thin Air is a new sci-fi novel from Richard K. Morgan, whose Altered Carbon was recently made into a hit series on Netflix. Much like that work (and indeed, Morgan’s oeuvre as a whole), Thin Air combines some scintillating, imaginative ideas with unapologetic violence and, whisper it, more than a little sex. This is science-fiction as neo-noir thriller, with gunfights, multiple shadowy agenda, and blood on the floor keeping bums on seats. But it also
Kyri Freeman
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
As with many other reviewers, I wanted to love this. I've read the author's other works and was very fond of them, and I'm still trying to find the time to watch the Altered Carbon miniseries.

The basic premise, setting, concept of this book are great, but if I were an editor, I would have asked for some changes.

The worldbuilding is... the best term I can think of is busy. I like a lot of description, I love a strong setting, but this world has so many concepts and technologies and jargon words a
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked up a sampler with the first chapter of this book and was really looking forward to reading it - the manufactured rain, code flys, etc. all seemed a great build up to a cool SciFi world. So I was incredibly excited when I received a free copy of the book (thank Del Rey!) in exchange for a review.

As I started reading, I found it a bit hard to get into the story. There was a lot of unusual slang and unknown terms. I haven't read any other Richard K. Morgan books - this is apparently set in
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

Pretty minor spoilers ahead.

I read this in pretty short order. (A week or so.) its long, but fast paced, and as far as I remember, there was basically never a dull moment.

Oddly, the sex scenes were the worst parts for me. They all, with one exception, felt pretty contrived to me. More fantasy than in any way realistic, and lots of sex with folks it was clear the protagonist shouldn’t trust. It’s like he got off on it. Which is an interesting twist, but not (that I could tell) one the
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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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