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Surface Detail (Culture, Bk 9)
Surface Detail - Culture, Bk 9
Author: Iain M. Banks
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. — It begins with a murder. — And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. — Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk e...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316123402
ISBN-10: 0316123404
Publication Date: 10/28/2010
Pages: 640
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Orbit
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 3
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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althea avatar reviewed Surface Detail (Culture, Bk 9) on + 774 more book reviews
Oh, I love Iain Banks.
He consistently manages to create books which are compelling, complex and challenging while remaining action-filled, exciting and even humorous.
This is the latest of his Culture novels (the ninth, if I'm correct). As with most of the books, it works as a stand-alone, with only a few tie-ins to other books for the pleasure of the devoted reader.
This novel entwines the story of Lededje Y'Breq, a woman seeking revenge against her former master and abuser, with the story of an interstellar conflict over the right to maintain virtual "hells" in which the preserved consciousnesses of the deceased are tormented.
As the topics imply, there's in-depth exploration of questions of ethics, all wrapped in a kick-ass story with plenty of space battles, virtual conflicts and grisly, violent action.
Trey avatar reviewed Surface Detail (Culture, Bk 9) on + 260 more book reviews
I'll admit it. I'm easily influenced. This time I lay the blame at the feet of Charlie Stross.

Anyway, I snagged this one as a present to myself and I enjoyed it immensely. The book bounces between several viewpoints - Vatueil, a soldier in the War in Heaven over the fate of the virtual hells, Lededje Y'breq - a indentured sex-slave who is murdered and reincarnated (its complex) and Yime, an agent of the Cutlure's Contact service, Quietus Branch (they deal with the virtually incarnated dead people). Trust me - this all makes sense as it goes along.

So, was it good? Yes. Not as good as Use of Weapons or Consider Phlebas, but still pretty darn good. As usual Banks has tons of mad, brilliant ideas and does interesting things with them.