Iain M Banks
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
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Reluctant hero 'Fassin Taak', a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, is about to have a very bad day... Seconded to a military-religious order he’s barely heard of, he has to go on an almost hopeless quest amongst the Dwellers in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years.
Banks is on top form here, and even as the story takes a while to get going, you can sense that it will kick off seriously by the end and fans of all things Sci Fi will not be disappointed!! You get intrigue, friendship, betrayal and AI / alien ponderings all set against an exciting war scenario and one of the best villains ever to grace the pages of a novel – a guy who keeps the head of his arch enemy alive, able to feel pain and auto heal – then uses it as a stress relief punchbag!! He has ‘altered’ his body including his knob so that he can do very unwholesome things with it… and you don’t even want to know about this bloke’s negotiation techniques…
There’s an interesting new concept of religion proposed too – basically that we’re all just playing a ‘Tron’ like game and in order to escape from it, enough people must realise what’s going on so that the balance of the game is upset and the ‘owners’ will pull the plug – setting everyone free.
So – my advice is to persevere through the extensive build up, the complex, turbulent, flamboyant and spectacular narrative, even if it is hard work at times because when the dogs of war slip their leashes – there is much fun to be had!!
Iain M. Banks has created another space opera on a truly epic scale...
Darkmatt Rating: öööö (heavy duty sci fi excellence)
Try some Darkmatters - the novel:
Darkmatters Cleric Artwork
A Brief History Of Darkmatter
Cleric Shows Up
Fear Of Death
Film Scene - gun battle
Test Subject #30022
Cleric Gets Mugged