Richard K Morgan’s newest novel, Woken Furies is a truly solid work of cyberpunk noir.

Returning to the world of Takeshi Kovacs, Morgan produces his most satisfying book since 2004’s Altered Carbon. Woken Furies is full of dark alleys; highly augmented soldiers; heartless criminals who turn on friends for a handful of nickels; and the sort of hard hearts and heavy drinkers usually found in Dashiell Hammett novels. In Woken Furies Kovacs is forced by circumstances to join with a group of deComs to avoid certain criminal elements seeking his head on a platter. The deComs are a team of mercenaries hired by the government to clear hostile and self-aware military hardware out of a geographic area. The deComs are highly augmented, tightly woven, and very good at what they do. Unfortunately, not all is as it seems with the team Kovacs joins and soon, a member of the team is overcome in the heat of battle leading to a near disaster for the team of soldiers.

This starts the book hurtling down a track not unlike an unlit rollar coaster tunnel that twists and turns such that you can’t see the light at the other end. All you know is that, eventually, the tunnel will end and you won’t be where you started. The dips, twists, and rises until then are completely unknown and can’t be seen until you’re well into them.

Unlike his previous Kovacs novel, Broken Angels, the literary devices that Morgan uses stay hidden behind the curtain in Woken Furies. The writing and plot seem less forced in this novel. Events and dialogue fit together better without some unpleasant literary spackle holding the whole mess together. In short, this is a much better novel.

Woken Furies is a novel that Morgan can truly be pround of and that I can recommend to those seeking an excellent contemporary science fiction novel with shades of classic detective fiction.