Jonah's Reviews > Against a Dark Background

Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks
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's review
Jul 07, 2010

it was ok

** spoiler alert ** My rating to this book may seem unkind at two stars, but I am going by the 'it was ok' suggestion. I really can't say I liked it, but I didn't find it bad, either. As another two star review pointed out, there is a good book in Against a Dark Background, and it's trying to get out.

I found episodes in the book to be excellent as pockets of history or character building. The incident involving Sharrow's fighter craft accident, her past with Miz, the character of the android and the bald manipulative twins were all wonderfully (or effectively) written. I liked her band of misfits and was put out when they were all put to sleep. I can deal with strong supporting characters written to die, but not when they are the only thing making the story interesting for me.It seemed to me the author was just tired of the story and wanted to wrap it up quickly as it wasn't going where he hoped it might have.

The speed with which the book shifted from being character driven to wiping everyone out and going in for a quick (BIG PICTURE REVEAL) mop-up was pretty fast after so much build up. And yet, was there a climax to the story?

I found the involvement of her cousin to be predictable and melodramatic, even campy, and the death of her one-dimensional sister to be unsatisfying after Banks went to so much effort to flesh her out into a fully annoying individual.

I am looking forward to reading more of Banks' Culture novels (I know this isn't one), regardless of my feelings about this book.


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