The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization. An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture 10,000 years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations: They are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.
Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over 9,000 years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.
©2012 Iain M. Banks (P)2012 Hachette Digital
"Nobody does it better." (Sunday Times)
"The standard by which the rest of SF is judged." (Guardian)
"Essential for SF fans." (Library Journal)
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"Love Iain Banks"
I like some of the clever ideas like the 'sim problem' makes me smile at Banks' genius.
"An enjoyable read"
This was as always for Iain Banks an enjoyable read. It seemed a little more tongue in cheek than some of the previous Culture books but I'm not sure whether this is because I was listening to someone else rather than reading the book myself.
"Iain Banks at his best"
The Hydrogen Sonata is another imaginative master piece from Iain Banks. The plot is rich and multilayered. The characterisations are stunning. I highly recommend this Culture Novel to both existing fans and to first time readers of Banks.
"Mixed up and troubled"
I purchased this book with great anticipation having read a good deal of this author's work and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. I found this book very hard to follow and kept losing the plot . I think it is the strange names given to the characters which make them unfamily to our ear. I went back three time to the beginning trying to get to grips with the plot without success It may be me I know but I don't normally have problems following the plot of his books.. Anyway give it a try but be prepared to be challenged.
Peter Kenny is by a country mile the best voice actor and narrator of any I've yet heard on Audible. He really brings this great story to life and I shall be seeking out more books narrated by his good self. :-)
"Culture books are always welcome"
Iain Banks creation of the culture is one of the best fictional creations ever. The only draw back is that it is a
fiction and I can't go and live there!
So once again it good to read and get immersed in the strange universe and the sublime of the culture series. It has all the usual Banks hallmarks of a fast and interesting story. It also has his sense of humor which I always enjoy. Though the ending left me feeling slightly disappointed. But none the less the book was a truly joyful ride!
New Culture book is well up to par - if you are a fan of Bank's other Culture novels you will not be dissapointed. Great story and plenty of humour too.
I have enjoyed the culture novels for a long time now and The Hydrogen Sonata is no exception. I felt the Sonata has been particularly beautifully written. It really puts you out there among the stars the Culture inhabits. I would highly recommend it.
"One on the best Culture novels"
The last few culture novels have not been as good, but The Hydrogen Sonata is one of the best. A great story which you just want to listen to to find out what happens.
"Good, but not a top tier Culture novel"
I haven't yet read a bad book by Iain M Banks. Many of them stand out as being truly excellent (The Algebraist, Against a Dark Background, The Player of Games, Use of Weapons), but this isn't one of them. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, and it's well deserving of 4 stars, but it doesn't quite have that extra spark.
If you're new to Iain M Banks, start with one of the others. Come back to this one later.
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