Iain M. Banks was taken away from us too soon. He was a genius of prose, structure, characterization and all kinds of SFnal ideas (by all accounts his mainstream fiction – published under the name of Iain Banks and [b: Altered Carbon|40445|Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)|Richard K. Morgan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387128955s/40445.jpg|2095852] should find a lot to enjoy in this book. If [b: Redshirts|13055592|Redshirts|John Scalzi|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348617890s/13055592.jpg|18130445] or [b: The Martian|18007564|The Martian|Andy Weir|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1413706054s/18007564.jpg|21825181] represent your preferred flavor of sci-fi this book may not suit you. Beside great characters, ideas, humour, prose and dialogue, Banks is also brilliant with nomenclatures, the very long ship names and drone names are awesome yet subtly meaningful.
If I have one complaint it would be that the pace sags a little after the half-way point of the book, especially as one character is negotiating to buy a top of the line spaceship. However, the novel’s pace soon picks up again, in fact one confrontation scene between a protagonist and her arch enemy almost had me jump out of my seat. Surface Detail
is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys Banks’ Culture series books, I am not sure it is the best entry point into the series, [b: The Player of Games|18630|The Player of Games (Culture, #2)|Iain M. Banks|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386922873s/18630.jpg|1494157] would be better for that I think. I already bought [b: Look to Windward|12016|Look to Windward (Culture, #7)|Iain M. Banks|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1288930978s/12016.jpg|124371] so I am looking forward to that.