Matter is a book written by Ian M. Banks. Matter is a science fiction novel that mixes medieval culture together with startling technology from far more advanced races and cultures. It was a very interesting book because of the ethical questions and good quality of writing. It also brings up some morally questionable actions from the main character, which makes her appear more human.
This book is mostly about Anaplian who is a member from a highly advanced society named the culture. When her father (the king from his planet) dies she returns to her home planet where she finds out that his best friend killed him. The traitor Tyl Loesp is now the regent for her youngest brother (Oramen). And eventually it becomes a civil war between Oramen and Tyl and if that’s not enough an ancient race returns to wipe the entire planet out of existence.
This is one of the best books that is out there for the public to read, because it is very vivid and all the characters are well thought out. It is however not the best book ever because it cannot keep your attention for an extremely long time, this happens because there is no real tension. And the tempo of the book is very slow, so it is sometimes a bit hard to come through. It doesn’t get easier to get through because of the amount of flashbacks and characters returning after 200 pages. Once you get past that it picks up speed really fast en then it does get exciting especially when some ancient race returns to kill everyone on the planet.
Overall it is a very fun book to read because of the combination of a highly advanced society interfering in a medieval society, it is an interesting question what would’ve happened if we’d had such and intervention. Would we be more advanced in technology or would we be dominated by that culture. Also the fact that Banks uses philosophical questions to make the reader think about the subject of justified warfare and the dangers of using your more advanced ideas in a society that is not ready for it. I have a feeling that he uses this to make us rethink our role in the developing countries and how we approach our help there.