I'm not really sure what to make of this one. For me, it struggled to get going, was overly long and petered out with an ending that left you wondering why you bothered. Don't get me wrong, it certainly had it's moments. Most of the time I was fairly gripped, wanted to find out what would happen, where it was going. And for a while, I thought I knew, until the ending let me down. The dialogue took some getting used to too, always at cross purposes, talking past each other.
Paula Mendoza was an interesting, complex character who was full of contradictions. She is both an idealist and a pragmatist, dispassionate yet often guided by her passions. She is rigid in her ideals as an anarchist, feminist and pacifist yet chooses to live in a rigidly hegemonic, patriarchal and imperialistic society in order to pursue her nebulous ends. At one point she is violently raped and yet is mystifyingly quick to forgive (something that a male author certainly could not have gotten away with).
The low rating for this book belies the fact that there is much of interest in here. If only it were weaved together a little more concisely and coherently with a more definite purpose. Then again, perhaps I just don't get it?