[A] super-fluid action thriller ... a dazzlingly intricate game of political double- and triple-cross, spiced with tastily kinetic battle sequences ... Luckily most of the action happens outside the bedroom, and it’s expertly written. Morgan is very good at the mild, pleasurable alienation of unexplained but workable-out vocabulary items ... Most of all, Tak Veil’s first-person narration is addictive and deceptively highly wrought: it’s casual and coarse, as befits a former mercenary, yet highly imagistic and sensuously attuned ... By the end, rather unkindly, you hope he gets sucked back into it in a sequel.
When Morgan writes, the vision he creates is a vibrant and meticulously detailed world that feels so real you could reach out and touch it ... The book has an almost tangible quality, it’s fast and frantic with a lot of action ... Mixed in with the thriller-esque action and cyberpunk backdrop is a hard-boiled noir story (think Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade) complete with a twisting and turning plot that keeps readers on their toes.
If I have one criticism of Morgan’s writing, it’s the striking similarity of the main characters in his SF novels: hard, hyper-cynical men with dark pasts and a notable facility with extreme violence ... Dark as it is, world building is one of Thin Air’s strongest points. It may be a cliché, but Morgan really makes this version of Mars come to life. Various neighborhoods and areas are described in a way that makes you feel like you’ve actually been there ... There are a few parts that drag, especially towards the end, but the vast majority of the novel is fast-paced and hard to put down. For such a dark novel, it’s also surprisingly funny at times, with a few hilarious scenes and some phrases only Morgan could come up with ... a worthy addition to Richard K. Morgan’s increasingly impressive bibliography. Recommended.
If you ever imagined that the core esthetics and themes of cyberpunk—lowlifes and high tech; corporate dominance; future noir; posthuman evolution and cyborg adaptations; hardscrabble urban environments–were played out, Thin Air will set you straight, and kick your butt in the process ... Morgan’s world-construction is solid and clever and forceful ... kinematic and cinematic.
Glacially paced and overly macho ... The numerous female characters are underdeveloped, and Veil mostly treats them as sex objects. Though the story is slow-moving and light on characterization, it tackles numerous moral and political questions, and is garnished with plenty of gratuitous violence. More cinematic than cerebral, it will appeal to fans of high-octane action movies and Netflix’s Altered Carbon adaptation.