Friday, October 9, 2009

Review: Transition by Iain Banks


Hey there girls and guys, time for another review.

This week I’m bringing you my views on Iain Banks new novel, Transition.

Now I’m not that familiar with Iain’s books but this was truly a difficult read for me, great story, but not the easiest to read.

But I will get to all that in time. :-)

Let say that not only the universe itself is infinite but alternate dimensions as well, and in everyone there is an earth.

Now what if there was a secret organisation made up of special individuals with the ability to transition from one version of earth to the other.

Put this together, add some conspiracy, a council member mad with power, a rebel, an assassin and a few odds and ends, including a mysterious patient in a psych ward, and you have the premises for a very interesting journey.

Now then, Transition. The story is very interesting and quite captivating, when u get to it.

This book was both very good and tedious at times. :-) :-(

You have several characters throughout the story to work with, the main one being the transitionary/assassin Mr Oh. Each chapter is divided between several of the characters. Though Iain indicates to you which characters you are busy with, when dealing with Mr Oh he tends to think of previous times and when this happens you are left confused until you figure out that you are actually dealing with a memory and no part of the current story.

This does however help to give you a better understanding of where Mr Oh comes from and what happened in the past to lead to the actions as they are currently unfolding.

Mr Oh’s character in itself is also a very interesting character to follow, most likely the most so of the whole bunch. Well he is after all the main character :-)

He is already a fully developed character so there is no real character development, instead you find yourself standing right beside him as he works at uncovering the conspiracy that has wrapped itself around the Concern, the organisation he worked for.

The second problem I found in reading this book is that you are left completely confused and in the dark for almost the first 100 pages. There is no explanation of what is going on or any indication of a story line. :-(

This is however is corrected after about 100 pages, and trust me when you find out what the storyline is and what’s really going on, shocking and speechless. Pure genius. :-)

From there on the story progresses relatively well, despite the amount of clutter which I will get to in a minute.

Once the storyline has been revealed, it starts to flow in a more understandable pattern, events start to make sense, and you can really start to live yourself into the story.

The final problem I had with the story was the amount of distracting information. There would be entire pages discussing theoretical, ethical, and academic concepts. On their own they are truly interesting and worth a read, but placed into the story as they are they form more of a distraction and thus resulting in a very heavy/difficult read. At times I would find myself skipping over pages just to get past all of this information. :-(

Despite all this distracting information you still find a very well written story filled with intrigue, corruption, action, romance and of course the supernatural. :-)

Iain Banks is a great writer and this is a spectacular story, but due to the fact that I had such difficulty getting through it, it will not be making its way onto my best book list.

If you want to find out more about Iain Banks and his books then you can find his official website here.


To order your copies, click here for US, here for UK, and for those in SA, please use the link at the top of the blog.

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