Ok, I'm imagining a drinking game--every time David Brin uses the words "route" or "ululation," take a drink. Every time the heroine of Glory Season, Maia, goes unconscious, take a drink. After a few chapters, you and your friends will be too blind to read any more.
Science fiction is not about the future, but about the present, and Brin likes to push buttons on 20th century issues with his books. in Earth, he tackled environmentalism, in the Uplift books, he allegorically ponders racial diversity and tolerance. In Glory Season, Brin has written a dependable, if heavy-handed adventure, imagining a future feminism in a matriarchal world of mostly cloned women, but there's a lot more going on here than some tables-are-turned male-bashing.
Taking a cue from noir detective novels, the author has Maia, a good-hearted and bright young woman who finds herself at the lowest rungs of society, gradually unraveling a twisted plot, complete with double-crosses, unlikely allies, and even an exotic "homme fatale"(?) from outer space. And what private dick story would be complete without the protagonist getting conked on the head repeatedly?
Brin's prose is serviceable, and he loves to pepper the action with extrapolated future words, corrupted from familiar English in a way that's just too precious sometimes. Also bordering on too-cute is the unquenchable optimism. Maia takes on loss, grief, kidnapping, beating, betrayal, torture, imprisonment, shipwreck, starvation, prostitutes, drug dealers, guerillas, pirates, all with Dickensian pluck and resourcefulness.
Despite the silliness, though, Glory Season really has some Points to Ponder, some hardcore anthropological and evolutionary speculation, and lots of geeky humor (for example, in every Brin book, at least one character has to put on a fake Scottish accent at least once, no matter how unlikely, and Glory Season is no exception). Fans of traditional sci-fi adventure will appreciate it.