Sunday, September 20, 2015

Book: Iain M. Banks' "The Hydrogen Sonata"

It's been a while since I read a book.  I finished my last book on the 15th of July and I really didn't pick up another book (eBook that is) until I went on my Rocky Mountain camp.  That's not a big gap, two weeks or so, but then it took me a month and a half to finish it.  It took so long not because it was over five hundred pages long.  It was not because it was bad since it wasn't.  I just would pick it up at the end of the day and read maybe five or ten pages before I went to bed.  I just strung out the reading of this rather good book.  Despite the slow progress, Goodreads says that I am two books ahead of schedule.  Good.

This book, by the way, is Iain M. Banks' "The Hydrogen Sonata".  This is a Culture book set up in the far future world Banks created for his Culture Series.  The book revolves around the 'subliming' of a civilization, the time when an advanced civilization transcends the material world.  The story follows the political wrangling, deceit, and manipulation that surrounds this event.

The book was interesting and I think it was one of Banks' better Culture books.  While I have given other Culture books mixed reviews, this one is quite good. The characters, both biological and artificial, are interesting.  There really isn't a huge climax.  This is hardly an action adventure but it held my interest and I was sucked into the world and I wanted to see where it would lead.

This is sadly the last book in the Culture series.  Iain M. Banks was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2013 and passed away in June of that year.  Before he died he asked the woman he'd been living with for the last seven years if she would do him the honor of becoming his widow.  They married soon afterward.  His imagination and creativity will be missed.

I rated this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I will now have to look for another series to follow.

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