This is a well written book. It blends hard science fiction and magical realism in interesting ways. It is full of wonderful quirky characters and captivating images and some really lovely language, including some really fun names. Persis Tatterdemalion, Paternoster Jericho, Johnny Stalin. Some of the character sketches are just terrific. Its got a lot going for it.
Its also discursive, rambling, and for no apparent reason the last third turns into this gigantic gamer battle with a cast of thousands getting blown to bits left and right. I have to admit that toward the end I just lost track (or interest). But there's more good here than bad, and I do recommend it.