It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. And it begins with a murder.
Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right, she will need the help of the Culture.
Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality.
©2010 Iain M. Banks (P)2010 Hachette Audio
"Banks's labyrinthine and devious ninth Culture space opera novel adeptly shifts perspective between vast concepts and individual passions....New readers may be taken aback by the rapid pace, but fans will dive right in and won't come up for air until the final page." (Publishers Weekly)
I would recommend this book to fans of the Culture series. I don't think it would be a good place to start with the Culture, though. Read an earlier book first.
It's about life, death, heaven and hell and pan-humanoid's inhumanity to pan-humanoid. What's not to like?
Peter Kenny's performance is extraordinary. The voices he creates for the characters truly bring the work to life. I'm sure they added another dimension to my appreciation of Banks' dialog and narrative.
This book is definitely unique, presenting a complex, interwoven series of events that eventually come together... more or less. The author creates a dizzying array of characters, which I found difficult to keep straight despite Peter Kenny's amazing array of voices. The narration is truly astounding, with accents, pitch, and timbre that seem impossible to come from one person. I found the end of the story a bit unsatisfying.
This story is vast and intricate. The story HEAVILY uses the "F" word, which I found somewhat offensive. If that doesn't bother you, and you have the ability to play this story in a way where you can focus on the details and personages, and if you like bizarre storylines full of new and unique ideas, then you might enjoy this book.
... you'll love this. I picked this up because Reynolds lists Banks as one of his inspirations, and I was not disappointed! The narrator is excellent too.
I've read a few of the culture novels, I love the way Mr Banks describes the technology and AI of the culture ships and drones. The story was very interesting and kept me entertained, however by far the most enjoyable part of the experience is narration by Mr Kenny, his voice characterisations where amazing and very convincing! This is definitely worth a credit. I'm looking forward to listening to Consider Phlebas and Transition.
Commercial Real Estate Appraiser since 1971, graduate of University of Oregon, four grandchildren, wonderful wife.
One of the most original works of Science Fiction I have read in many years. The level of detail and originality was extraordinary. Well worth the read. The narrator was also very good.
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