This one sounded from the blurb like it might make for an interesting read, but all that ultimately means is that the blurb writer did their job. It doesn't mean that the writer did! This was a fail for me. It started out gamely enough as a steampunk story, but then it did a sidestep into high fantasy with gnomes, dwarfs, and trolls, and I was wondering if I'd entered some other universe. Apparently I had, This is Terry Pratchett's 40th Discworld novel, and I now have zero interest in learning any more about Discworld!
It came back to the steam punk story after too long of a while, but by the time it did, I'd lost all interest in pursuing this. I don't mind mixing up genres, but I have no time for trolls and dwarfs, I really don't. On top of this, the novel reminded me very much of Douglas Adams. I like Adams, but I don't like his fiction! I never knew him personally, but I did go to one of his talks one time and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed, and favorably reviewed his non-fiction book, Last Chance to See about endangered species, but if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a Brit writer babbling on and on humorously and in an annoyingly self-satisfied manner. It reminds me too much of my own inane parodies!
No one in their right mind should take those seriously, and I honestly could not take this seriously. I certainly can't recommend it based on the ten percent I could stand to listen to. There's no point in stoically plodding on to the bitter end in a novel that quite simply doesn't get your heart beating, when you can ditch it and be off and running with the next one that will get your pulse up. Life's too short!