There’s not much more I can say about this book. It’s a shame; The Player of Games is one of my favourite novels, and The Use of Weapon is a brilliant piece of intelligent writing. Excession however, is dull. The characters are flat and the plot doesn’t go anywhere. It’s also arrogant, which considering the rest of the series, was quite shocking. There are pages of nonsensical Mind communications that are a struggle to get through. They add very little to the plot, and appear simply to be Banks showing off what he can do.
As the Culture Series are standalone plots, I’d avoid this one. It’s not worth it.