Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Book: Iain M. Bank's "Look To Windward"

As I read more of Iain M. Bank's Culture novels, I am finding myself warming up to his style.  While the other Culture books held my interest but were a little lackluster at times, the latest book, Iain M. Bank's "Look To Windward" held my interest and was a good read ... definitely an improvement.

The book follows a plot involving love lost, revenge, justice, and redemption.  A civilization, once thrown into a planet-wide civil war by Culture meddling, seeks justice through a plot that would result in the loss of billions of Culture lives.  The weapon of destruction is a man who lost the woman that he loved in the civil war.  He embarks on a suicide mission that fails.  In the end his own personal mission, to end his life, a life not worth living without the woman he loved, is accomplished when he joins with his target, a sentient computer (known as a Mind) in charge of a huge space habitat.  The Mind - who once participated in a war where two stars, along with all the life orbiting them, were destroyed - has lived with guilt for over a thousand years.  After a few thousand years of guilt the Mind saves the lives of billions but joins with the assassin in a pact of mutual suicide.  The end of the book hits the right note of redemption and living, or dying, the way you wish.

The book is well written, interesting, and recommended.

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