By the same author as The Uglies series. One of my colleagues told me this wasn't as great as The Uglies, and I have to disagree with her. In general, I like steam punk stories. They have a certain twist of imagination that sci-fi doesn't. Sci-fi is an extrapolation of reality, if it isn't already reality by now. Steam punk - that's a vision of something completely different.
Alek is a likable character - sympathetic, and you get to see more of his character development in this first of the trilogy. Daryn (aka Dylan) is, so far, just an annoying brat of a tomboy. For someone who defies gender conventions, she is all too ready to follow the rules and protocols of other things.
The artwork is amazeballs. Makes up for Daryn's annoying character.