This book sort of has a little bit of everything. It somehow manages to be a post-apocalyptic, spaghetti western inspired, robot fueled, futuristic, coming of age, romantic, adventure story. There are robot arena battles, amnesia obscured pasts, dusty car chases, mutants and bioengineering, killer androids, robot pals aplenty, mysterious superpowers, future slang, a murderous man with a red right hand, and...and...well, you get the idea.
There's a lot in here. As is often the case with books that go full throttle into Kitchen Sink territory some of it lands and some of it doesn't. It's a very distinct and curious blend of components that makes it stand out as unique, while also managing to riff on a lot of things I recognize, ergo it seems familiar. It was a weird combo. I will say it commits the cardinal sin of having a lot of the plot driven by people not talking to each other, but it redeems itself somewhat by acknowledging that fact late in the story. Without spoiling anything I will say the closing pages left me in a place I really didn't expect at the start of the narrative, and left me a bit off kilter.
All in all I have mixed feelings on this one. There were parts that I could tell were supposed to be fun but felt like a slog for me. I was often frustrated with the characters, and found the pacing oddly slow for something so action packed. I just never really connected fully to the characters nor their story. Points for world building and being my kind of weird-o though. When it comes down to it this book was fine, but I sort of expected more given how much I love many of Kristoff's other offerings. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Or maybe it's just me. Regardless, if I'm being 100% honest, I think I'd rather have just read Godsgrave again.