This is the second book from Iain M. Banks that I've read. I found The Player of Games to be much more enjoyable than Consider Phlebas. The character development is noticeably stronger. The plot is more compelling and, ultimately, the story arc is much more satisfying. Where Consider Phlebas seemed to end rather abruptly, this book wound down to a more satisfying ending.
Overall, I'm not sure I'm completely hooked on Banks' work, but the universe in which these two stories take place is interesting. In contrast to other recent science fiction I've read, I didn't find either of these novels to be particularly thought-provoking. The civilization at the center of The Player of Games built entirely around a game, while intriguing, didn't illuminate challenges we face in the real world (though I suppose it could be taken as a kind of allegory for modern life). I'll probably read more of his work, but I'm in no particular hurry.
Recommend? It's not bad.