For the TV series, go to Altered Carbon.
- Complete Monster: Reileen Kawahawa, from Altered Carbon, is a "Methuselah", or "Meth" — a long-living human in an age when people can achieve mental immortality through the storing of their memories. Starting her career as a young gang member in Fission City who forced people to drink contaminated water or see their families tortured, Kawahara eventually rose to the top by torture and murder. Running a virtual prostitution ring, Kawahawa has people indulge their sick fantasies before allowing them to do the same to a living woman, making certain they are women who will die permanently. When one of her fellow Meths, wealthy businessman Laurens Bancroft, refuses to assist her, Kawahara has him drugged so he will murder the next prostitute he's with to put him under Kawahara's thumb. To force the hero, Takeshi Kovacs, to assist her in framing a former associate of hers for the crime, Kawahara threatens to put Kovacs's girlfriend into virtual torture and later decides to try to do the same to Kovacs himself for all eternity.
- Fetish Retardant: Many readers and reviewers have reported to find the sex scenes the weakest links of the story, as they due to clunky prose often come across as rather unsexy, and in some cases even unintentionally hilarious. Some have also reported to find Kovac's tendency to go into Purple Prose-fueled Male Gaze sequences whenever he interacts with women to be somewhat creepy and off-putting.