As usual Banks’ writing is sharp, eloquent and imaginative. The main character is likeable and fairly easy to empathise with and Banks does a good job of introducing her past into the story – sometimes very aptly as we switch back to what’s going on in the main story.
It’s easy to see that Hisako is not some pampered, soft artist but has been through tremendous struggle in her life and come through strong as granite.
However I did find her transformation from middle-aged concert cellist to an ass-kicking Symphonic Schwarzenegger a little hard to swallow despite her obvious toughness.
I also felt that the dream sequences that Banks named the book for didn’t really lend anything to the story although the imagery was lush and powerful.
Unfortunately despite liking Hisako and enjoying her revenge on murderers and rapists the main thoughts I had while reading this were what a terrible shame it was to let all that oil into the water and how tragic it was that the Stradivarius Cello was destroyed.