This was mostly a fun read. I enjoyed Priest's vision for an alternate steampunk version of 19th century Seattle, although the zombies felt kind of extraneous to the plot. She could have taken them out and still written the same story about a mad scientist and the fallout from his experiment, particularly for the wife and child he left behind. The zombies just weren't integral to the story in the way they were in Mira Grant's Feed
, for example. In some ways it felt like Priest brainstormed a list of cool stuff, threw it into a blender, and this was the result -- but somehow most of it works and it's a pretty tasty milkshake, even though I'm picking out a few stray chunks that seem odd.
The female characters were pretty great -- strong, but believably so and without being written as men with breasts. It was Briar who got me through the story. I was always a much happier reader when in her point-of-view than in Zeke's, who mostly came off as a whiny, annoying brat who kept doing things that were so stupid I wanted to shake him until his head fell off. One of those weird chunks I chewed on as a reader is that there was something off about the chronology between Briar's POV and Zeke's that kept pulling me out of the story because it didn't quite add up.
But there were flying machines captained by not-quite-pirates, and clockwork prosthetics, and a mad scientist with a mysterious identity, and such wonderfully strong women, so overall I'm a pretty happy reader.