Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks

(Culture Series #3)

What a book! Be warned though, if you dislike non-linear books, run away very quickly and don't look back. Otherwise, keep reading about one of the most intricate, and satisfying Culture books I have read thus far.

The Culture Series is set in the future where there is a super huge civilization called The Culture that has eliminated money, have super smart AI (Minds) controlling big ships and most of the large decisions in their society. Humans are free to relax and pursue their interests. The series has 10 books in it. They are all in the same universe but do not need to be read in order. I read The Player of Games (#2) first, then read Consider Phlebas (#1), and then finally Use of Weapons.

Of course, this 'perfect' society Culture doesn't get it's hands dirty that often but they do work behind the scenes trying to bring their values to other planets and clusters. This book is about one of the agents they've employed from outside their society to be their agent of change, Cheradenine Zakalwe (Don't you love the names in the Culture universe?).

The novel has two narrative streams, one moving forward in the present, and one moving backwards towards a major event in Zakalwe's life. This can get confusing at time but it does come together when you finish the book. This book rewards the patient, careful reader. This is not a beach read! This is a book you curl up with on the couch in silence as you digest this complex book.

Have you read any any of The Culture series? I would suggest you do, but this might be a difficult entry into the world. I would suggest reading The Player of Games or Consider Phlebas first.

Rating: ★★★★★ Book #31 in My 2019 Reading Challenge

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