Book Reviews of Against a Dark Background

Against a Dark Background
Against a Dark Background
Author: Iain M. Banks
ISBN-13: 9781857230314
ISBN-10: 1857230310
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 487
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Orbit
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Against a Dark Background on + 774 more book reviews
Very, very good. It's less conceptual and more an adventure story than many of his other books - but it's a VERY good adventure story! Lots of action and violence, without neglecting depth of character & emotion.... very effective portrayal of a female protagonist by a male author too! (something I find is rather rare...)
reviewed Against a Dark Background on + 260 more book reviews
The plot boils down to a noble named Sharrow getting the gang back together to retrieve the one thing that may save her from a death sentence by a religion.

Of course the details are far greater than that. Sharrow has a history - her mother was assassinated by that religion, she fought in a major war and had something called synchroneurobonding done to her and her crew, survived a major crash, became an Antiquities thief (this is important as the world, Golter, has 10,000 years of documented history) and on and on. Now, while Sharrow and her history are the viewpoint characters, the world is as much a star with its legalistic World Court ruling over a patchwork of nations, Solipsistic mercenaries, weird secular cults, other inhabitable worlds (some terraformed, some natural), oddball polities, ultratech voodoo, etc.

The one thing capable of saving Sharrow from murder I mentioned earlier? The Lazy Gun, a product of a weird civilization who's world was destroyed in a war several thousand years ago. How it kills and destroys varies from use to use and can be pretty improbable. And they are very effectively tamper proofed.

Its interesting, sort of fun, but grim. In many ways it reminds me of Consider Phlebas, but more hopeful at the end. The protagonist is put through hell, but it may be worth it.
reviewed Against a Dark Background on + 23 more book reviews

"On the run from a cult of intergalactic religious fanatics who want her death, the Lady Sharrow emerges from retirement to seek out a powerful artifact that may save her life--the legendary Lazy Gun, a weapon that kills by altering the reality around it. The author of Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games has constructed a richly hued, far-future tapestry for his latest space adventure. Sophisticated prose, complex characters, and an unbridled imagination combine in this tale of high drama and intrigue."