The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.
Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
©1987 Iain M. Banks (P)2011 Hachette Audio
"Dazzlingly original." (Daily Mail)
"Gripping, touching and funny." (TLS)
When your protagonist is captured three times in a book, you have a problem. When more than half a book is summed up by "supposedly elite espionage agent and shapeshifter can't find a ride", you've got a problem. When the reader concludes that the protagonists allies will probably all die of friendly fire, and they do, albeit over many many pages going no where, it's a problem. When your multi-species crew of star-faring mercenaries can't figure out how to kill an unconscious member of a common belligerent species (one that's perfectly killable), it's a problem.
This book has vast amounts of writing that fails to move the plot or characters. The characters are too dumb to live. There was little to no consequence to their actions. I won't be picking up any of the other books in the series.
dark, dense, often brutal. the story is good but not great. The performance is slightly better than average. I am not sure if I will continue listening to the series or not. I ended up not really caring about the main characters. in a way that mimicked the main character's behavior itself so perhaps that was a principal theme that the author wanted to convey. But ultimately it has turned me off to the rest of the series.
I bought this book not knowing much about it, and it turned out to be an amazing choice. It is filled with adventure, action, suspense, espionage, deceit, you name it this book has it. It can be a very dark story at times and it does have its very grotesque moments so if you are not into heavy description of violence and sometimes gore then I would steer clear. Overall a great sci-fi read and it was my intro to the culture series which I am now fascinated with.
Maybe it was the narrator but I had my mind drifting away all the time. I concur my English skills to be good but the thick accents were too much for me at times. I pretty much enjoyed only the list two hours excluding the least chapter
For whatever reason, this is the fourth Culture series book I read. Like many of the others, it is a very compelling world to engage within. Also like many of his other books, the plot is great at the start and end but drags in the middle. All in all, I highly recommend it. My favorite Culture series book is The Player of Games. It is tightly written and does not depend on any other book.
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