This is the first of Banksie’s Culture books that I’ve read. Lots of people suggest that Player of Games is a better starting point, but this was a group read, and so start here I did. Consequently i got dumped in at the deep end, and for the first few chapters it’s very much a case of sink or swim.
Once you’ve got over the shock, it settles down into an interesting, although never really “exciting” read. There were too many diverse characters (almost everything is a “character” from people to aliens to drones, bots, ships, even the space suits) for me really to keep track of or care much about what happened to them. So, at the end I wasn’t fired up to go to go and immediately seek out another Culture novel, although I’m sure I shall read more in the fulness of time.