Iain M. Banks is my favorite Science Fiction writer. Sadly, this was Banks’ last culture novel (it won’t be the last on this list). It wasn’t his best and ultimately everything that happened didn’t seem to matter much but I think that was kind of Banks’ point.
Banks still gives us plenty of cool ideas, new and interesting alien species, and some unique, exciting action sequences. I thought the idea of The Hydrogen Sonata and the 26 string for an instrument yet to be created was uniquely Banks. Vyr Cossont was a very likable protagonist and I particularly found the digressions involving her mother to be funny. Oh, and of course, the ship names continue to be tremendous. My favorite was Just The Washing Instruction Chip In Life’s Rich Tapestry. Rest in peace Iain M. Banks… you’ve given me plenty of entertainment. I’ve enjoyed everything you wrote.
PS- If you have not read Banks before I recommend reading the first 3 in publication order. After that, read in whatever order you want.
(Felan’s Rescue Available in all formats August 19, 2022. E-book Preorders Available now)