On a ten-point scale (1=bad, 10=good), the people who read the
book gave the following ratings: 8, 9, 9, 10
Average: 9 (!)
(Perhaps it pays to have only 4 people voting ;-)
This book was suggested as an uplifting change-of-pace.
Raja Thiagarajan gave the book a 10. This is the third time he'd read it (though he didn't quite have time to finish by Thursday). He feels that it is the definitive work of steampunk; much as William Gibson's Neuromancer is the definitive work of cyberpunk. (Also, like Neuromancer, it "launched" the genre with a splash that nothing else quite lived up to.)
Gregory Rawlins brought along Powers's later novel, The Stress of Her Regard, and said he recommended it for people who like Anubis. (It's about the Lake Poets, and a succubus.) Gregory also noted that Powers has a standard approach in his books; he takes a lot of strange, unrelated, minor historical oddities, and weaves them all together with a single explanation. Gregory also brought along a book on the underground (and underclasses?) in 19th century London.