Well, I'm glad that's over with. Interesting premise, interesting characters, interesting world but, sadly, not well executed in my opinion. I know this was self-published and knowing that makes me wonder if the author could have benefited from some better/more editing.
I read an interview with the author where he said that people will either love or hate his characters and there would be no middle ground. His characters are not nice and glowy and heroic at first glance at all. Actually, they could be fascinating, but I found the author's hand to be so heavy in trying to get across the fact that these were unlikable people that it made the reading of them quite unpleasant. I really didn't need to hear about Bale's snotty, drippy nose the number of times I read about it. Really.
The world the author has created is very intricate and quite interesting, but he throws in so much unneeded detail, sideroads of description of unimportant things, a hundred thousand adjectives that it all just becomes heavy, pedantic reading. Lots of telling, not a lot of showing in many, many cases.
All in all, the book shows a lot of promise yet failed to deliver for me. It's the first of a series (of course) and I really doubt I'll be picking up the second one. There's so much other stuff out there that I enjoy. :)