It’s simple: if you like Banks’ Culture novels, you’ll like this one. It’s not the best Culture novel – that’s Excession – but it’s still excellent.
If you don’t know the Culture novels, don’t start here: start with The Player of Games, and work your way up in the order they’ve been released. Banks is a giant, and his highly imaginative Culture series is one of the best things that ever happened to space opera, and his premature death one of the worst.
originally written on the 27th of October, 2014