This was getting lots of buzz in different places that I trust. I picked it up and browsed it in the book store and put it back several times before I finally decided I was going to read it. Glad I did.
What makes good science fiction work, and the reason I continue to make it such a major component of my fiction reading, is to make plausible hypotheses about a technology innovation and then be relentless in pursuing that “what if” wherever your understanding of behavior and society leads. Morgan does exactly that. If technology could give you a real-time backup brain that essentially lets you cheat death (but not pain), where does that take you? To some frequently nasty but compelling places.