A part of me wants to rate this book less highly because things don't turn out the way I want them to turn out -- my definition of a happy ending. There is a sort of happy ending here, though, and the release of tension is amazing, and the whole book makes me feel so much, so I can't dock it points just because it doesn't end exactly the way I want it to end.
If I was to take off a star, it'd be because everything seems to fall into place just a little too easily. But at the same time, it works, for me anyway.
It's hard to like the female narrator, Elvira, because she's just... so unenlightened about the situation she's living in. She becomes a lot more likeable as it goes on, though, and though she doesn't become as aware as I'd like, I suppose her education would be a bit of a mirror of Lucy Kahn's, and the timescale doesn't really work for it.
I still love Carmichael, and I ache for him -- the position he's put in, and what happens to him.
The world Jo Walton creates is chilling and awful and believable, and hurtful. She's good with the gut-punch, because she did it to me in Farthing and Ha'penny too. Somehow, I just never expect it until I suddenly can't quite breathe.