Decided I’m going to try this weekend’s write-off. Let’s see if I can actually finish something this time. Today, however, I cover a non-pony story.
As I experienced while reading the other Culture book I’ve read, this one focused on stuff I just don’t care about. It is a story about the main character past and present, with all the interesting (to me anyway) scifi stuff kind of shuffled off to the edges. Not forgotten, but very much background noise. As well as the back and forth flashbacks were the present day alternates with scenes from the main character’s past. If there was a overarching theme beyond the obvious history snapshots, I totally missed it. I like a well done flashback but constant ones with little rhyme or reason wear me down. So I can’t say I liked the book. Which is a shame since the Culture books are highly recommended by several people I know and I can tell they are well written. I just wish they focused on the stuff I found interesting is all. Everything that involved the Culture directly? All that was cool. The first chapter when the handler is pulled out of her log term assignment to fetch the main character? I would have loved to read the story about her and the mission she had been on. The somewhat snarky AI drone that is her assistant and bodyguard, it was interesting as well. Basically anything that didn’t involve the main character. Except for two points. Him on the huge Culture ship in the flashback just after he was recruited, and the part where he was doing stuff freelance. Those were both cool and I would have loved to read stories based on them, and neither really have any impact on the book as a whole.