I don't think I've ever read something like this in all my years of reading fantasy. It's a challenging read, no doubt about it. There are few familiar touch points, few things you can anchor to as you travel through this incredible universe that Kameron Hurley has built. You have to pay attention to everything - no skimming (not that I'm one to skim anyway.) and put away any kind of judgement you might have. This is indeed a strange new world and I have to admit, as much as it confused me, awed me, entranced me, it also scared the hell out of reader me. *LOL* I haven't had to concentrate on a read the way I concentrated on this for a long, long time.
This is one of those books where I wish I could write a really stellar review and talk intelligently about the choices and craft and intention and all that stuff. But I can't. I can just tell you how the book made me feel.
When I was on Goodreads adding the book as 'currently reading', I came across a review - that wasn't a review - written by the person who edited the book and I'm going to link it here because it's damned fascinating. Amanda's Review. And don't worry, there are no spoilers there.
I want to say that this, the first book of the saga, finishes with a cliffhanger, but it didn't feel like a cliffhanger? Yeah, there were a bunch... I mean, A BUNCH of unanswered questions, but I didn't get that "And then? And then? And then?" annoyingly frustrating feeling I usually do when left with a cliffhanger. I have the second book in my TBR pile and I will get to it soonish. I do want to know what's happening with all the characters and what the next step in this 'Worldbreaker' story is.
Would I recommend this book? Oh yes, very much. But it's not for everyone. Like I said, it's a challenging read, but a really good one.