Glass Houses

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Pub Date Aug 13 2024 | Archive Date Aug 23 2024

Description

A masterful near future whodunit for fans of Glass Onion and Black Mirror; join a stranded start-up team led by a terrifyingly realistic charismatic billionaire, a deserted tropical island, and a mysterious AI-driven mansion--as the remaining members disappear one by one.

A group of employees and their CEO, celebrating the sale of their remarkable emotion-mapping-AI-algorithm, crash onto a not-quite-deserted tropical island.

Luckily, those who survived have found a beautiful, fully-stocked private palace, with all the latest technological updates (though one without connection to the outside world). The house, however, has more secrets than anyone might have guessed, and a much darker reason for having been built and left behind.

Kristen, the hyper-competent "chief emotional manager" (i.e., the eccentric boyish billionaire-CEO Sumter's idea of an HR department) is trying to keep her colleagues stable throughout this new challenge, but staying sane seems to be as much of a challenge as staying alive. Being a woman in technology has always meant having to be smarter than anyone expects....and Kristen's survival skills are more impressive than anyone knows.

A masterful near future whodunit for fans of Glass Onion and Black Mirror; join a stranded start-up team led by a terrifyingly realistic charismatic billionaire, a deserted tropical island, and a...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780765382924
PRICE $27.99 (USD)
PAGES 272

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Average rating from 31 members


Featured Reviews

"Glass Houses" by Madeline Ashby is a dark thriller set in the near future, teeming with advanced technology, both real and imagined. As a fan of such books, I was eager to delve into its pages.

The story follows a group of start-up team members led by their eccentric billionaire boss, CEO Sumter. They embark on a trip to celebrate the sale of their emotion-mapping AI algorithm but find themselves stranded on a deserted tropical island after their autonomous airplane crashes. Among the ten survivors are Sumter and his right-hand assistant, Kristen, who holds the position of 'chief emotional officer. On the island, they stumble upon an AI-driven mansion filled with secrets and advanced technology. While grappling with their situation and attempting to enter the house, Kristen does her best to keep tensions low and people safe.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, reminiscent of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," the "Big Brother" vibes, and the array of fascinating technology depicted in the story. Understanding the tech isn't necessary to enjoy the book; being a sci-fi enthusiast, I had no issue with it. The title aptly captures the essence of the book and "Glass House Effect," and the cleverly imagined dark plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as tension mounts.

The narrative unfolds through dual timelines, before and after the crash, narrated in the third person from Kristen's perspective. We come to know Kristen and several other characters intimately, although the more I learned about her, the less I found her likable. Indeed, most characters are rather unlikable, yet this didn't hinder my enjoyment of the tale or my curiosity about their survival chances.

The book delves into the depths of the human psyche, exploring themes such as PTSD, obsession, gender dynamics in male-dominated industries, the erosion of privacy in the age of social media, and the ramifications of broadcasting one's life to the world. I don't have a smart home system in my home, and after reading this book I won't get one...

My only grievances with the book were the occasional unrealistic behaviors of the survivors, the petty quarrels, and a few awkward descriptions and imagery (such as those concerning bandages) that neither made sense nor added to the story; The book is better off without them. Nevertheless, I found the book enjoyable and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to fans of the genre seeking an original albeit dark read.

* Thank you NetGalley and (publisher) for the opportunity to read this arc. All opinions are my own.

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This phenomenol novel is crreepy, grippy, thrilling and all too scary. I almost can't believe what I read!

I picked it up because of the summary - A group of employees and their CEO, celebrating the sale of their remarkable emotion-mapping-AI-algorithm, crash onto a not-quite-deserted tropical island.

I thought it might be fun, a little thrilling but it was absolutely and incredibly mind-blowingly scary. Kristen is our heroine and her backstory is incredibly interesting and unique. It may be why. Sumter, a very Elon-Musky, billionaire baffoonish man has hired her as his right -hand-woman. They work well together and her skill set allows her to continue to lead the team after a devastating plane crash and massive loss of life.

When they find a hotel, a mansion, or a palace filled with all of the food they need, Kristen knows there has to be more to the story. While she flashes back to her history, and her very limited life outside of the company we begin to get a better picture of who Kristen really is and what she might be able to do in this scenario

If you like Hitchcock, Highsmith, Vacations-gone-wrong or speculative fiction then this is a MAJOR GEM for you. I might just read it again now, but with the light left on.
#tor #madelineashby #glasshouse

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