What immediately impressed me with this book is the tone, reminiscent of something like the American civil war, that Tchiakovsky is able to capture. It is highly immersive and very different to that in his Shadows of the Apt series. Emily is a convincing lead who grows as a character throughout the story. Supporting her are a complex cast of well-drawn supporting characters.
World-building is impressive without being intrusive, the action sequences infused with suspense all leading to a very satisfying conclusion.
Overall Tchaikovsky's first foray into stand-alone work is an impressive one. 9/10.