I'll be honest. I bought this book because the cover caught my eye, the author's name had popped up in my Twitter feed on more than one occasion and it was on sale. :) The blurb didn't turn me off either, so bonus!
And it was a satisfactory read. I had some problems, however.
First off, all the way through the book I felt as if I had missed reading a volume one somewhere. I even checked the author's website a couple of times to make certain I had the first book. Seems I did, but the fact that I felt I had missed a huge part of the story - that was only exacerbated by the memories and expositions of the characters - hung over me all through my read.
That could be a part of the reason that I felt that the plot was all over the place. There was a lot happening and not enough focus on stuff that I thought needed more focus and then too much on stuff that I didn't find that important. The strands never came together. Now yeah, it's Book 1, but SOME of the strands need to come together, in my opinion. It was like a non-ending. Also, there was SO much well, gender switching for lack of a better word in my little mind, that it often felt forced. The premise was interesting, but I never got the feeling that there was a why behind it. It felt like the author wanted the women to hold all the power, the men to feel what women in our world have lived with forever, and I think sex was a good thing with no matter who. And we also have what I believe is this world's take on transgenderism - can I use that word?. Far too much stuff thrown in with no actual logic behind it that I could see. Now don't get me wrong, I love all this stuff, but I want it to feel natural within the story, not thrown in for the purposes of educating the unwashed masses as it were.
There were a ton of interesting characters, very very few of them focussed on, in favour of the very youthful protaganists, Saffron,Viya and Zech. I think maybe I was reading a YA novel that was trying to break out of the YA mold possibly. I loved the character of Gwen, but her motives were never clear and I wanted them to be. I wanted to 'get' her. And her friend Pix. And Matu and Luy/Louis. That's where I felt the hints of depth.
So, all in all, for a fantasy novel with an interesting premise and some great characters , the execution left me flat.