Glasshouse deserves reverence at the level of Speaker for the Dead, Brave New World and Stranger in a Strange Land. The universe created by Stross is unique and fascinating, forcing you to consider the nature of consciousness, identity and gender.
The performance is wonderful. Free does a great job of conveying the male and female voices with equal gravitas, which I'm sure was difficult considering how the same character changes genders more than once.
I've read a lot of fantasy/sci fi and it's rare that you come upon a book that is truly original. This book is Stross's masterpieces as far as I'm concerned, far surpassing the laundry series in scope and emotional depth. My only comment is that I think you need to have a bachelors in science to completely appreciate his writing, as he references things like 'c' (the speed of light constant) and uses other technical jargon on occasion.
A couple reviews call this a young adult novel? I don't quite understand where that comes from other than the fact that the story line resembles hunger games. It's a brutal fantasy novel that was inlayed into a dystopian universe like Lord of the flies / brave new world/ender's game. I also love the song and the singing of it several times. I think the audio book brought something more than the plain text version can offer.
While at first I was a little put-out how similar in theme this book is to the Mistborn series, I quickly forgot about that and was totally enthralled by this new series. Sanderson has got to be the best fantasy writer alive and he just keeps getting better and better. While the book is long, Sanderson has an uncanny ability to keep the story going and the same time he is masterfully sculpting the characters in your head. I was totally distraught when I realized that the next book in the series won't be out until 'maybe christmas'. If you only read one fantasy book this year, it has to be this one. Don't bother with George RR Martin, he's got nothing on Sanderson.
The reader is excellent with male voices. All of the male characters are so clearly drawn with his voice. In comparison, the female voices aren't quite as good.
The book read like a screenplay. It could easily be made into a watchmen-xmen type movie.
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