‘Still Miss Iain Banks’ Score: 5/5 After two not-so-great books, this one was wonderful. I miss the scope, the imagination he brought when he created The Culture, and I miss how it grew with him at the helm. If you wondered what would happen if he turned his attention to hell, wonder no more. Would a culture as advanced as The Culture tolerate hells? It is, as ever, complicated...

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‘Didn’t Like This Either’ Score: 2/5 I didn’t enjoy the book I read before this, and I didn’t enjoy this one either. I don’t think I’m more curmudgeonly than usual, and I wanted to enjoy both books. Guess I was just unlucky. With this book, it feels like there’s a fun techno-thriller struggling to get out, but i…

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‘Just Didn’t Like This’ Score: 2/5 I just didn’t like this. Not much point going into details of why, I just found it kinda dull.

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‘Ahead Of Its Time’ Score: 4/5 This book - written in the 90s - was well ahead of its time in many ways. It describes a technology we don’t have yet - ‘uploads’, or uploading personas so your thinking runs on a computer instead of a brain - but so many of the incidental bits are nearly spot on. Mobile phones, the web, virtual reality... All technologies in their infancy when the book was written but they ap…

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‘That’s More Like It’ Score: 4/5 There’s more action in this book - I thought the previous book dull in comparison. And it’s better action too, driving the overall story arc further along. Sometimes some of the elite crew really do seem dumb though. No spoilers though, even though I’d really like to rant about it. …

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