I was having fun with this book from the very first page, in part because I was excited about doing an informal read-along with Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings, but also because the world building was so well done. The author did a great job describing what was currently happening in a way that hinted at the big picture. The constant action and intriguing hints of more world building to come kept me quickly turning pages through the whole book. Especially cool elements of the world building included the Scottish mythology, the awesome steampunk inventions, and the somewhat unusual choice to have the fairies be the bad guys.
The characters were another part of this book I enjoyed. Aileana is a somewhat complex character, trying to balance her social obligations and her desire for revenge. She loves inventing weapons and gets a thrill from hunting fairies which makes her question her own morality. The secondary characters were also interesting and well developed. I particularly liked seeing the friendships Aileana had, since I feel friendship is an overlooked relationship in many books. At the same time, romance is often overdone for my taste. That meant that I was very happy to see hints of a love triangle fizzle out and to see the romance in general take a back seat to the adventure. There were a few instances where I thought the heroine was being stupid about boys and the ending was such a cliff-hanger I felt like the author just stopped writing, but other than those two small gripes, I loved everything about this book. Perfect for fans of Gail Carriger and for anyone looking for a fun adventure with a great setting and not too much romance.This review first published on Doing Dewey.