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STARRED Book Review: House Made of Sound

HOUSE MADE OF SOUND by Freeman Jayce is a trippy version of What Dreams May Come (1998)--a rollercoaster ride to Heaven, Hell, and back. Check out why Alexandria Ducksworth gave this indie fantasy a starred review.

House Made of Sound

by Freeman Jayce

Genre: Fantasy / Action & Adventure

ISBN: 9798218174378

Print Length: 393 pages

Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth

A rollercoaster ride to Heaven, Hell, and back

What is life? Where do we go after we die? People have pondered the unanswerable for millennia. Some believe there is an afterlife, and others believe nothing happens after death, that we only expire. Author Freeman Jayce takes this theme to a new level with House Made of Sound. Although the story is not a philosophy-heavy, critical-thinking course, it will make you ponder human existence for its entirety. 

Music agent Jensen Bennett has worked with the powerhouse band Quiet Catastrophe for some time now, and he has even become friends with the lead artist, Hedley Grange. Or so he thought. 

Jensen is on a mission: find Quiet Catastrophe’s third album, House Made of Sound. Bringing this album to light would solve all of Jensen’s problems. He would be $5,000,000 richer, build the nightclub of his dreams, and probably get back together with his wife. The bigger problem: death. A devastating plane crash has brought Jensen into a place between the material plane and the spiritual. Jensen’s not dead, but he’s not 100% alive either. With the help of the mysterious spirit Guinevere, he needs to find Hedley before it’s too late. 

Reading through House Made of Sound conjures up images and memories of legendary singers like Jim Morrison and Cyndi Lauper. I loved Jayce’s nostalgic musical references; he introduces readers to the gritty, crazy world of the music industry. This book is fit for readers who want to return to a world that was run by artists like The Beatlesand Jimi Hendrix. 

Jensen’s afterlife adventure is a trippy version of the movie What Dreams May Come (1998). You have a character venturing into a land after death where the laws of reality don’t apply. Freeman Jayce has an enthralling way of bringing this world to life; it’s nearly hypnotic. Readers can see the happier places in the afterlife and the creepy ones you don’t want to get stuck in for all of eternity. 

Jensen Bennett is an incredibly realistic character. People will do almost anything for a million dollars, so who wouldn’t want to get their hands on an unreleased album for $5,000,000? A better life was ahead of Jensen. For once, he would feel good about it.  He didn’t have the best life growing up: His mother died of cancer, and he dealt with an abusive stepdad. Most of Jensen’s early life was awkward or downright depressing, so getting this money is his chance to wipe the slate clean and start anew. 

House Made of Sound is a hit! The protagonist and supporting characters are great, the obstacles challenging, and the afterlife world ultimately creative. Is death really the end or only the beginning? House Made of Sound is packed with many deep questions and makes for an enjoyable fantasy adventure.

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