Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: The Algebraist

I normally love reading Iain M. Banks' novels and I'm currently busy with The Algebraist.  Unfortunately this seems to be an extremely slow read.  I'm a third into the book and it really hasn't captured my attention yet.

The complexity of the alien cultures and hierarchy of the different organizations at play (accompanied by the obligatory explanations and history lessons) seem to bog down the story considerably.

Hopefully it can only get better from here on out...

3 Days Later...
Somewhere in the middle I almost gave up, but persevered. Normally I love Bank's work, but this one was just a bit too slow, with nothing much happening except for dialogue/descriptions of history/political/religion lessons.

The last 120 pages or so did redeem it and was much more enjoyable. In the end the concepts presented where interesting, but some story-lines could easily have been left out.

The villain, seems to pop in for two or three brief and gruesome appearances and then disappears without any trace or a gratifying well-deserved demise at the end.

Overall this is one of the novels that didn't impress me much.  There are interesting concepts locked away within the volumes of text but are largely left unexplored.  The true downfall is that the pace of the book is just too slow to make it a gripping read.  At times you are left wishing that something interesting would happen already.

Buy it from The Book Depository

Rating - 6/10 

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