I felt like there were too many characters and not enough depth to the story, and that kept it from being really great. It took a long time and a lot of effort to get into the story and I'll admit that I didn't like the characters very much. Briar and Zeke are both one dimensional and dumb as rocks. The supporting characters are interesting, but I felt like there were way too many of them.The book also felt like three book ideas crammed into one - like the author kept coming up with good ideas (ooh, zombies!, oh and airships, oh and a evil inventor!) and shoved sketches of all of the ideas into one book instead of taking the time to fully develop each idea in several books. The world-building suffered as a result. I had a hard time being drawn into the fictional world and feeling like I understood the characters. I really wanted to like this book, and there are a some good parts, so it's a 3 out of 5. I'll try another Cherie Priest book to see if this was just a one-off or if her writing style is just not my cup of tea.P.S. - To the reviewers who are still looking for some steampunk to get into the genre, I HIGHLY recommend Soulless by Gail Carriger. It's a fun, fast read that gets into steampunk more successfully, IMO.