For such a dark story, this is a very vibrant book.
Neuromancer follows the computer hacker Case though a dirty near-future where technology and humanity have begun to integrate almost completely--it is the archetypal cyberpunk novel, according to its Wikipedia page, and its vision does not disappoint.
Case starts his story as a drug-addicted drug dealer, wasting away his last days in a grungy town full of gangs and black markets. He has no desire to keep on living--his best days as a hacker ended because he tried to steal money from his employers and they paid him back by damaging his nervous system so that he is no longer able to "jack in" to cyberspace. The plot begins when he realizes a woman is looking for him and, once she finds him, that she is offering to fix him; so long as he comes to work for her boss afterwards.
Most of the story is then preparation for a heist. The woman, named Molly Millions, will handle the physical infiltration while Case takes care of the building's security in cyberspace. Their target, however, is a fortress on a space station orbiting Earth. The two, along with their boss Armitage, travel to various locations as they prepare for the infiltration, and with them we see the spectacle of Gibson's world.
The imagery here is alternatively gorgeous and haunting. The best way I can summarize the world we see is as a colorful version of Blade Runner. Each person has some unique trait or augment that stems from a creative use of technology. The world we are shown is colorful, imaginative, and each new technology or biological augment we come across feels like a natural part of the whole. The more we learn about each new setting, the more each detail adds to the overall picture.
Yet while the sci-fi stuff is very interesting the characters are not very memorable, beyond Molly, and she sticks out mostly because of her aesthetic. She has retractile blades in each of her fingers, and a few modifications that make her reflexes better. Case, however, is somewhat shallow. He enjoys his life as a hacker, and is quite capable, but beyond his early interactions with his fellow drug hustlers we do not see much more of him. His main motivation throughout the book is simply to save his own life and return to life as a hacker. He does have a lover, Linda Lee, but their relationship is explored all too briefly. Linda herself is quite forgettable, and serves mostly as just to give something for Case to angst over during the novel's climax.
Molly, as I said, is more interesting, and it is quite unfortunate that she is not the character whose mind we follow--she is far more active in actually moving the story forward, and Case often jacks-in to her senses in order to give us a view of the action scenes as he waits for his turn to do something in cyberspace. We peer briefly into Molly's past, but aside from more creative uses of technology her backstory feels grossly generic (spoilers: it's rape!).
There was only one other time I felt that shocking imagery was out of place--the reasoning behind it feels a bit shallow--but on the whole the world we see is engaging and entertaining.
I don't have too much more to say about it, but overall, I do definitely recommend this book. The plot is interesting, and the strength of the prose and style make the story compelling, even with mostly flat characters. Also, I would be lying if I did not say the ending had a strong impact on me. The last line of the book hit me harder than I expected; it was painfully bittersweet, and left me wanting to see just a bit more.
Neuromancer is available wherever books are sold.