Revelatory world-building: this novel belongs on every list of best world-building in SF! A near-perfect blend of scifi & philosophy. It's intellectually vigorous & challenging, stylistically unique, with a sprawling cast of compelling characters in complex political relationships. This is visionary work. But it's also one of those clever ideas that never lets you forget how clever it is. The unique writing style never quite stops feeling like a gimmick. It achieves greatness but tries a bit too hard to get there. Hopefully the author's next book will be a bit less self-conscious, more truly confident in itself.