It's an alternate history in which a genocide doesn't happen.
It's about a utopian society that isn't so cleverly set up as to avoid all problems, but in which people work to find different, practical, solutions.
It's steampunk that feels utterly plausible.
It's a book that acknowledges the tremendous breadth and depth of people and cultures throughout Africa, although it focuses on one nation.
It is a marvelous accomplishment in every sense of the word, and I'm sure it's going to be one of my top reads for the year, and probably every other reader's list, because it is a book that makes you go "ohhh" and "ahhh", that constantly delights and surprises, even though it is addressing many of the darkest aspects of colonialism.
It's a book that reminded me of how new and appealing are the many voices in scifi these days, and actually makes me feel optimistic about humanity.
Sweet, fancy Moses, it's just a great, sweeping Victorian "ills of society" novel, such as those of Charles Dickens, but with a light touch. It's just perfect.
Now goo, read it right away, unless you're devoting October to horror, in which case, okay, but then you have to start it on November first.
ARC provided by publisher via GoodReads