When I do reviews, I always think its important to balance the bad against the good. Even an atrocious book has some good in it somewhere.
Raven Dane sometimes makes an unorthodox use of the comma.
Right, that's the bad point out of the way. This was a rip-roaring adventure in the best tradition of steampunk and I loved it from end to end. There really was nothing I didn't like about the story (apart from the occasional comma). Cyrus is a totally lovable rogue, and his main sidekick, the demonic Belial a wonderfully tortured soul. The other characters fit around him like a glove and the baddies are at once wonderfully simple yet with unexepected depths that are peeled slowly away as from an elegant onion. Even the structure of the book itself is comfortable; its dense enough to feel you are getting a good literary chew out of the pages, but the chapters are sort and snappy and give plenty of places you can put the bookmark without feeling you are breaking off in the middle of things.
All through the read I would get delicate scents of 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen', Artemis Fowl, and even slight notes of Sherlock Holmes and (oddly, but from the baddies) Dr Who. Having said that, the style and the tone are very uniquely Raven's.
I very rarely include plot line in my reviews. Its far to tempting to slip something in that might be a spolier. What I will say is that this would appeal greatly to anybody who liked, for example, the 'Mortal Engine' books, as well as any of the tales mentioned above.
I sincerely hope there is to be a sequel. First class read, five stars.