What an excellent book! This is one of the best modern sci-fi/steam-punk books I have read in a very long time, as it reads like high literature with intriguing characters. The characters are very complex and Paolo Bacigalupi does an excellent job of showing the reader the many shades of gray each character inhabits. There are no blatently good, bad, black or white characters here.
There are two scenes with Emiko, the Windup Girl, that were hard to read and yet they are very necessary to the book. She gets pushed and pushed and pushed to the point where she just snaps. Even though she's a genetically engineered person, I felt so sad for all that she had to go through, because I came to think of her more as human, than a Heechy-keechy
or "New Person."
Also, there were some terrifying moments as well like using calories as currency. Where everything that is sold in the market is genetically engineered. These were scary to me because this is the way our food is going and I don't like it one bit.
All in all, a must read for all sci-fi/steam-punk fans and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future for sure!