Use Of Weapons

Use Of WeaponsUse of Weapons by Iain Banks
Published by Orbit on 1992
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adventure, Fiction, Hard Science Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera
Pages: 411
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The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past.

I found Use Of Weapons to have an annoying pace to it. The story features two timelines that alternate every other chapter, making the book choppy to read. Whilst the pace of the main plot seems to yo-yo between glacially slow and then super fast.

The concept of the story and what Bank’s tried to do with the timelines are both good ideas but I can’t help but feel that the execution was pretty poor with two many different ideas and scenarios making play.