Amortals by Matt Forbeck [Book Review]

When You Die You Don’t.

You have a clone with your backup memories. That is if you are rich enough or if you become a national hero by taking a bullet for the President. Rohnan Dooley is the later and the first to become Amortal . Now he returns to try to find out who murdered him but there is much more to the story.

Amortals is my first contact with Matt Forbeck’s writing and I am impressed but not surprised by the tight and action packed story after reading his bio. Matt also weaves thought provoking questions about individuality and identity into the story. I am definitely going to add him to my to-read authors.

The main character Dooley has been long on the job. 200 years in the Secret Service is a long time and he is starting to have second thoughts about it. But if he retires he loses his Amortality. The investigation soon ties in to his previous lives and to his estranged descendants in a way that further highlights the issues with being immortal.

Dooley is a man of action but he is also a national hero and the figure head for the Amortal Project so his murder draws public interest. Patron, his boss wants the matter resolved as soon as possible. Amanda his partner obviously knew his former self which highlights the problem with skipping backup for three months since he have no memories of her or the investigation leading up to his own murder. Amanda is also mortal which leads Dooley to consider the worth of his own life compared to someone with only the one.

It is a fast paced and action packed story that touches on murder cults, old enemies, love, assassination attempts, cover-ups, hidden agendas and a bigger picture. Agent Dooley channels Bruce Willis in RED, Die Hard and Dirty Harry while he tries to finds out what really going on.

The characters are well done and remind me of stories that gave me the same kind of feeling for the characters like Flash by L. E. Modesitt Jr or The Puppet Master by Robert A. Heinlein.

There is no mistake behind that Amortal’s spelling is so close to Amoral in my mind. This book isn’t about the murder mystery. It is about the bigger picture. But it is still good action. It was a book hard to put down. I read it more or less in one go.

Amortals is a high concept techno thriller that has been a delight to read and I would like to highly recommend it both to thrill seeking and cerebral readers of science fiction.


Title: Amortals
Author: Matt Forbeck
Genre: Science Fiction
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot
Copy: Review copy from the publisher

Order from: Amazon US | UK

Today you die. Today you are reborn. Today you hunt the man who killed you. It’s Lee Child vs. Altered Carbon in a high-tech blast of tough-as-nails future thrills.

Matt Forbeck arrives as the new king of high-concept – with a blockbuster action movie in a book. In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan “Methusaleh” Dooley is brutally murdered, he’s brought back from the dead to hunt his killer, and in doing so uncover a terrible conspiracy.

FILE UNDER: Science Fiction [Future Thriller / Cheat Death / Rogue Agents / Who Killed Who?]