People seem to be very uptight about what "type" of Iain Banks book they like and they all have a favourite in the genre and want the next book to surpass it. That's all well and good but you just need to read the book and consider it for its own merits. Basically this is a very well written book which is interesting and amusing enough to keep the reader engaged. It isn't ground breaking, fair enough, but it is a good book and way better than almost all novels of its type out there at the moment. Read it and make your own mind up.