|Submitted by Ben Thorne |
(May 10, 2002)
As a massive fan of Banks' Culture novels, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. Previous books had comedy, plot twists and awesome story-telling. This book was to prove to have all that and more.
It tells the unlikely story of an assasination mission on a grand scale led astray by social functions and long-running fueds.
I found myself confused and, I must admit, a little disappointed at realising the hero (or central character if 'hero' isn't quite befitting) is a strange, three-limbed alien, dispelling all hopes of the action-man that womanises his way across the galaxy.
Oh, but how Banks makes you warm to him. The characterisation is phenomenal - twisting plot-lines and Banks' vivid imagination leave you with a picture so clear you can almost smell it.
Again, the precise, clean-cut nature of the Culture keeps you wondering at the possibilities of future space-colonisation and continued, contrasting, flashbacks and other plotlines speed you towards a climatic finish.
If you're a Banks fan, then this book will keep you hooked, but even for the un-initiated, this book will grip anyone with a passion for writing as good as this.