Neuromancer is a cyberpunk novel by American-Canadian author William Gibson. Read our article about the best William Gibson books and learn more about his life and work. He tells a story that involves a lot of computers and technology, a virtual computer world called Matrix, and characters who will offer the perfect adventure story in a world filled with danger and thrill.
The protagonist of the story is a hacker called Henry Dorsett Case and you get to read his thrilling story in this first book of Gibson’s series called Sprawl Trilogy. This Neuromancer book review will make sure you know what to expect before you start the book and hopefully the series.
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Henry Dorsett Case
Henry is described as one of the sharpest minds in the hacker community and his specialty is stealing data. However, that was his life before his whole world turned to chaos and changed for the worst after a few people who were seeking revenge poisoned Henry with a mycotoxin and badly damaged his nervous system, leaving him scarred and crippled. Now, he is a low-level hustler barely trying to survive who is on the run from a dangerous drug lord and things are looking very bad for Henry.
You could say that his luck turns when he is saved by a girl named Molly. She shows up out of nowhere in a moment when Henry was in desperate need of saving. She takes him to her boss, a character called Armitage who offers Henry something that he had been wishing for since he was almost killed.
Armitage says that he can cure Henry if he agrees to help him with a project of his that is need of Henry’s expertise. Henry doesn’t even think twice before he accepts as he badly wanted to be healthy again. There is a catch, however, if Henry doesn’t complete the task on time, Armitage promises him that he can easily reverse what the cure has done.
After Henry’s body is repaired, he is offered his first job and is briefed on what needs to be done. Henry and Molly develop a close relationship as they go on their first mission, they are tasked with stealing a ROM module that contains the saved memory and mind of one of Henry’s former mentors, McCoy Pauley, a legendary cyber cowboy who goes by the nickname Dixie Flatline.
The job goes smoothly and Henry and Molly continue their secret investigation of Armitage as even Molly doesn’t know what his true intentions are and they really want to find out. They discover what his former identity was, where he worked at, and what they find is starting to make a lot of sense with the plot that he is currently working on.
We won’t spoil the details about all of those things as you can find out about all of that as you read the book. Just know that the story gets more and more complex as you meet more characters and find out more about the ones already in the story. If you are interested in the topic of cyberpunk, don’t hesitate to read our selection of the best cyberpunk books.
Their investigation uncovers more and more about Armitage but the team still continues to do the jobs assigned to them and they meet another character who gets added to the team while they were in Istanbul. His name is Peter Riviera and Armitage wanted him for his skills, he is an artist, a great thief, but also a drug addict which does make him a bit hard to be around at times.
Peter is described in the book as a sociopath, but Armitage still tries hard to make him join his team because he believes that Riviera will be a valuable asset as he has one more, and probably the most valuable of his skills. He knows how to project convincing holograms of anything using implants that he has in him.
Meet a Few Other Unique Characters
There are a couple of other characters who you get to meet later on, most of them are not part of the current story that is going on but they describe the story that Molly and Henry find out about Armitage’s past. One of those characters is Lady 3Jane, a clone from the original woman known as Jane and she is currently in control of the hardwiring that keeps a company known as Tessier-Ashpool among the best out there.
Also part of that story is Hideo, a Japanese ninja who serves as the personal bodyguard for Lady 3Jane. Then there are Wintermute and Neuromancer, their story is one of the most fascinating ones as you learn who and what they actually are. Wintermute is one of Tessier-Ashpool’s AIs, its goal is to become one with Necromancer, it’s AI sibling so that it can be known as a superintelligence.
Neuromancer, however, has a different story, its most impressive feature is its ability to copy the mind of anyone and run it as RAM. And it is not anything like its sibling Wintermute, Neuromancer has no desire for merging and becoming a superintelligence because it has its own stable personality which proves very satisfactory.
These might be slight spoilers from the actual story that you get to see in our Neuromancer book review, but don’t worry, you don’t know half of the story as things get super thrilling with a complex plot and even more exciting and memorable characters.
Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive
If you enjoy this novel then you are surely going to want to read the other two of William Gibson’s trilogy, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. The stories are not directly connected but a few of the same characters do appear in some of them and the story is just as exciting as any other in the Sprawl Trilogy.
Definitely give them a shot if you like science fiction and cyberpunk as Neuromancer fits those genres perfectly. Take a look at our selection of the best science fiction books for more similar books.