This is a fantastic little steampunk novel. The scale of travel grand, the style classic and the scientific means obscured. I found the narrator's constant footnotes a great way to take a biased author and make him even more opinionated. Aside from the plot that is 1 part silly and 1 part classic adventure there are tiny little added gems. The history of the world in this book is so full that every now and then there are throw away lines about how the idea of aliens clashes with their sensibilities because of religion. If you're looking for hard steampunk try [book:The Difference Engine]. If you want something a bit more akin to a pulp adventure then this is it.