I really wanted to like this book. I really did.
I love all things Alice and I adore steampunk. This book seemed like it was calling out my name.
But the more I read, the more disappointed I became. I plugged through it, in hopes that it would get better, but it never did. I even tried to force my way into reading the sequeal, but after a few chapters I ran up the white flag and gave up.
Beddor tries to be so intentionly clever that it becomes obnoxious, from the change of Alice's name to Alyss to making apparently everyone in the world have the last name Heart, or Hart, or whatever other clever spelling of the day he can come up with. His entire book seems to rely solely on the use of "cool visual affects". It was seriously like reading a bad script for a bad sci fi movie. You could imagine my amusement when I learned that Beddor is a screenplay writer and never wrote childrens books before. And boy can you tell.
This guy was so pain stakingly trying to be "cool" that he beats you over the head with his "cleverness". It comes off as amateur fanfic written by a high school student. Another user used this word to describe this book, and it is the best description I can give it: contrived.
This may be the worst book I've ever read.