PositiveLibrary JournalA nuanced adventure that also serves as a critique of Western colonialism ... The novel is also an atmospheric and complex narrative with compelling characters. Kuang builds on the success of her Poppy War trilogy and academic studies and prompts readers to question the ethics of both empire and academia ... Kuang is a refreshing and essential voice in fiction, and her latest will have wide appeal.
PositiveLibrary JournalLieven’s attempts to make the work relevant to modern audiences are usually successful, and his chapters on non-Western European empires provide important background and context for current world affairs. Sometimes the language is a bit dry and academic, but this is nevertheless an engaging read that manages to summarize and synthesize information on almost every major empire in history without getting weighed down by its own scope ... Definitely a must-have for any academic library that supports history research. Will also appeal to advanced general readers with an interest in history or comparative biography.
RaveLibrary Journal... an intimate portrayal of a woman at a crossroads ... It will appeal to readers who appreciate realistic portraits and asking the question: \'What if I just ran away to Mars?\'
MixedLibrary JournalEven though the overall story is fairly straightforward, there are many shifts in settings and multiple subplots (including an entire novelette) to keep track of. Moreover, the technical and theoretical scientific principles introduced, and the sometimes-disruptive nature of the mixed-media elements, at times make the story difficult to follow ... The combination of hard sf elements and Hughes’s background as a cartoonist create a vivid, expansive reading experience. This will especially interest readers who are excited by hybrid novels that blend traditional and illustrative formats.