This is one of the more original science fiction works I've read in a while, with a thankfully non-western culture that slightly brings to mind George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails, although Hurley's invention is purely her own and striking. Brutal actions by these characters sometimes shocked me (in a good way). While the science fiction tech in this book -- rather originally insect based -- makes it feel sometimes like a fantasy, it was again a refreshing change of pace. And given that so few books bother to remember insects, I found using them as a society's technological foundation enthralling.My only quibble with the book is that its plotting structure sometimes feels repetitive, in that the characters continually go from one "hunt-get captured-get released" sequence to another. By the end of the book, that put me off, in addition to some rather confusing fight sequences -- although with these latter Hurlely may merely be reflecting the characters' own diminished information about what exactly has occurred. Those two quibbles aside, I have already bought the sequel, Infidel, and look forward to reading it soon.