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The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.

Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.

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The Hydrogen Sonata
Average rating
4 / 5
Terrific read!
February 14th, 2014
It is such a shame that Banks has now left us. A Mind like his that I'd never have the opportunity to pick at. This book was grand yet claustrophobic, frenetic and intense yet delivered with a focused calm and grace, and with terrifyingly bold and clever command of vocabulary. The ideas presented within are so incredibly well thought-out that anyone with a penchant for exercising their various mental faculties through heavy, complex works of fiction should enjoy this a treat. Five stars and not a single atom less. Well played, Mr. Banks.
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1 review
The Hydrogen Sonata
February 10th, 2014
A fitting last Culture novel.
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1 review
The Hydrogen Sonata
January 5th, 2014
I am a big fan of Iain M Banks. His plots are complex and multi-faceted. I was looking forward to getting into this book very much. However - the presentation of the book on Kobo is appallingly bad. Transitions between different elements of the story, a feature of all Banks's books, are missed completely, with the text sim[ply running on as though all part of the same narrative. Confusing, annoying and ultimately destructive of the enjoyment of this book and a poor reflection of the author's talents. I rate the writing, the plot(s) and vision very highly, but Kobo extremely poorly. I shall not be buying any more books here.
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