Customer Reviews for

Use of Weapons (Culture Series #3)

Average Rating 4
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Futuristic mercenary working for a powerful benevolent race

I was first introduced to Iain Banks by reading his book 'Consider Phlebas'. Of the space science fiction genre, I found his detail and depth of imagery astounding. I recommend that book to sci-fi fans. 'Use of Weapons' could be simply described as being about a futuris...
I was first introduced to Iain Banks by reading his book 'Consider Phlebas'. Of the space science fiction genre, I found his detail and depth of imagery astounding. I recommend that book to sci-fi fans. 'Use of Weapons' could be simply described as being about a futuristic mercenary doing deeds for a powerful benevolent race. But this is not a simple book. Two story lines interweave in alternating chapters. The first is traditional, moving forward in time, following one plot line. The other goes backward in time, each chapter number counting backward as well, and touches on past events that increasingly explain events and people being followed in the upward counting chapters. This manner of story telling certainly requires a great attention to detail by the reader, but the reward at the end is worth it, as we finally discover what really is going on. After finishing the book I found myself re-reading many sections, rediscovering many things I had missed. I will be looking for what seems to be a sequel, 'States of War'.

posted by Anonymous on November 19, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Terrible!

If you enjoy books that make sense, have a story line that draws you in and holds you and then has a pleasing resolution at the end, then this book is not for you! It takes nearly half the book for the story line to start making sense, then just as things start moving, ...
If you enjoy books that make sense, have a story line that draws you in and holds you and then has a pleasing resolution at the end, then this book is not for you! It takes nearly half the book for the story line to start making sense, then just as things start moving, the author looses it, takes the characters in a totally unrelated tangent and then for an ending everything just runs down the drain. This isn't good science fiction and it isn't even a good story. And to think I believed the hype about this guy and bought two of his books! Save your money and don't waste your time!

posted by 7694728 on April 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Not hooked

    Read sample and concluded that this was another piece of macho SF that relies on violence as a cheap substitute for "grit". The writing was a bit over done but skillfully executed. Nevertheless I won't be reading further

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    No continuity

    Reads like a set of short stories with some glue to try to bind them together. I've liked the Culture series so far but not this one. I skimmed a few chapters as some of the flashbacks were dull and repetitive. In other books I like how Banks builds the momentum of the story. None of that here. As soon as things start to get interesting there is a scene change and off on an unrelated tangent.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2010

    Confusing use of flashbacks make this hard to read

    This is one of the few books that I almost didn't finish. The concept is interesting enough. However, the book quite randomly flashes back to various times in the character's past, but it's never to the same time. I believe there's 7 random time frames that are flashed back to very often. The issue is, these flashbacks often occur in the middle of a chapter. It takes 2-3 paragraphs simply to get your bearings straight. Good luck keeping characters straight and remembering who is from what time frame. Zakalwe, the protagonist, is well developed and is your stereotypical antihero. None of the other characters are developed at all. Towards the end, the author tried to examine the whole "how do we know what is good or bad?" concept and falls completely flat. Good concept, poor execution. I've seen Kubrick films that were easier to follow.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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