Monday, January 26, 2009

Matter - Iain M. Banks

A promising prologue has your usual sneaky Culture type doing some untraceable interfering into some low-tech warfare on a planet - or actually an environment that is part of a Shellword - a huge structure that has what seems to be multiple planets or planetary analogues, one per level. An interesting idea.

Unfortunately, 80% or so of what follows is tedious, as a plot and murders to remove a king and relatives, and give power to a man on the aforementioned world happens. He, too, has some knowledge and advantages over the local - but a survivor of this coup has a sister who much earlier was given to Special Circumstances. So the book meanders along until the last 6th or so, where suddenly the various races of technological ability and their plots and conflicts start to get interesting, then it ends.

You could chop out half this book and not miss it one bit.

2.5 out of 5

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