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Iain M. Banks : Use of Weapons : Amazing Ending, slow start September 13, 2009

Posted by showmescifi in scifi.
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useofweapons This is the second Ian M. Banks Culture novel we’ve read (the first was Consider Phelebas) and no it’s not as good as the first.

That’s not to say this isn’t a good book – but you just need a whole lot more patience.

Use of Weapons is all about a Culture agent known as Zalkawe who is used by the Culture to help influence events. The way the book is written is that there is a long of time jumping back an forth, some of it broken up nicely by different chapter number but not always.

At one point, we actually were ready to give up on this book, since it was so over-written and difficult to follow.

But this book does deliver at the end with a tremendously shocking conclusion that really was a surprise. Though this book was often plodding and dull the surprise ending really does help to make up for the slow start.

If this had been the first Banks book that we had ever read, there is little doubt that it would be our last. But the Culture is a cool idea and Consider Phelbas was such a brilliant novel that we just want to find more of the same.

This book could have been much better if it cut out 100 pages of wasted space and nonsense. It could have been better if the time jumping was more clear.

It is however a very deep and involving character driven story with (like we said) a fantastic ending that is amazing.


1. Iain M. Banks – The Player of Games – Azad falls to Culture « Show Me SciFi - June 21, 2010

[…] Iain M. Banks and his awesome Culture series (previously we’ve reviewed Consider Phlebas, , Use of Weapons,and Look to […]

2. IAIN M. BANKS – MATTER – The Shellworld Review — yeah it’s long but it’s another awesome Culture novel « Show Me SciFi - October 7, 2010

[…] fav Culture book still remains the first – Consider Phelbas, the ending of Use of Weapons still remains the greatest twist, the Special Circumstances sub-plot in Look to Windward is still […]

3. Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks – REVIEW – A solid Culture tale but a bit overwritten « Show Me SciFi - February 22, 2011

[…] As always though the final page has a surprise and this one wasn’t quite as spectacular as some of our favorite Culture books – though it brought us right back to one of our all time favs – Use of Weapons. […]

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