Two alliances of civilisations are fighting a virtual war over artificial hells. Depending on your viewpoint the right, or the wrong, side is winning. Needless to say, the Culture has an interest in the outcome.
Bank’s penultimate Culture novel, is a hugely enjoyable and inventive story, the writing is exuberant, the story intricate, by turns intimately personal and sweepingly grand. The bad people are exceptionally bad, the Culture warships are the unstoppable juggernauts we know and love – caring, sharing machines of ultimate obliterations, the plot is vast and finely manged, and all the numbers have lots and lots of zeros in the significand.
Sometimes it doesn’t entirely make sense, a couple of plot points are simply gags, but I didn’t care. Banks was having some serious fun and as a result so did I.
Completely and thoroughly recommended.