er by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have read all of Iain M Banks Books and this one Matter #8 in the Culture series is a good strong tale of familial strife set against the background of impossible planet sized structure.
To recap The ten books of the Culture are: Consider Phlebas, 1987; The Player of Games,1988; Use of Weapons, 1990; The State of the Art, 1991; Excession, 1996; Inversions, 1998; Look to Windward,2000; Matter,2008; Surface Detail, 2010; The Hydrogen Sonata, 2012.
The tale of Matter is the tale of a strange homeland called a Shellworld. This is described on p63 as:
The Shell Worlds are mostly hollow. Each had a solid metallic core fourteen hundred kilometres in diameter. beyond that, a concentric succession of spherical shells.
Each of the shells forms a level of the Shell world, and distinct civilisation live on each including water worlds, gas worlds, fixed stars and moving stars. The levels are connected by vast lifts, and sometimes the custodians of the Shellworld allow the inhabitants of different levels to pass from one to another, sometimes with evil intent.
As always with Banks culture stories e have an amazing unthought-of science fiction setting, and this is just the start. A prince is falsely accused of fratricide, who has to flee... So starts a long journey to find a long lost sister and ultimately to save his world.
I really liked this book. I liked the artefact at its heart. I like the way it is only partly understood, and quarrelled over by great powers of the galaxy. I loved the story of the innocent fleeing finding himself on the most amazing pan-galactic road trip.