Mon, 07 Mar 2005
Not surprisingly, Banks plays a bit with the form of the storytelling in Inversions. He tells the stories of two people in different kingdoms, alternating between them for each chapter. Not unique, to be sure, but not a simple, straightforward tale, either.
Honestly, I wasn't terribly impressed with this one. The story was average; not one I found immensely gripping. I did enjoy piecing together the surrounding world from things mentioned in passing by the characters, and figuring out things about Vosill and DeWar via the same methods, but there wasn't a whole lot of depth the the information derived thereby. Nor did I really feel the characters were all that interesting.
Banks has certainly written books I liked more. This was a decent read; not bad, certainly, but nothing special either.
Just a brief note or two below the spoiler barrier.
Well, it's clear (to me, at least) that this is actually a Culture book, merely told from the other side. Even so, I don't think it added much that we couldn't already have figured out about the Culture. One could argue that it wasn't meant to, but I suspect that Banks specifically intended to tell a tale of the Culture's interference from the point of view of those being interfered with.
As further spoilage, I nailed early on the fact that Oelph's master was Adlain. (Despite toying with the thought for a bit that it might be DeWar.) I wasn't expecting the narrator of the other half of the story to have been Perrund, though.