This is not a Culture novel. I mistakenly thought it was. I love Banks and I love Peter Kenny's narration.
I haven't read a multiple worlds novel that really satisfied me. It all seems a bit too easy. In this novel, you have a secretive high-control organization that acts as the gateway to the multiple earths. In the end, the motivation of the organization and it's tyrannical leader remain a bit unclear in an unsatisfying way.
Peter Kenny's great.
Alas, Iain Banks has passed away. Yes, this novel begs for a follow-up, but I don't see it happening.
Violent Psychedelic Revolution
I don't have a favorite character.
Lane's revelation at the monastery.
I really like the message of this novel, and the vision presented of how this type of technology will interact with the different forces at play in the world, to drive humanity forward, ready or not. It was a very interesting read for me; although I do not know Ramez Naam personally, I am one degree separated from him and many of my views on the topics explored in his writing were formed during the same period of time with an overlapping group of friends.
Ultimately, this novel is far more violent than I prefer, but I do not feel the violence is gratuitous given the story being told and the forces at play. For those sensitive to such things, prolonged periods of graphic violence is something to be endured.
Revolutions don't usually have happy endings for those at their center, nor are the implications for the future ever clear in the aftermath. Thus book 1 comes to a close and I find myself full of hope for book 2.
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