While the characters and plot had promise, the effect of the novel felt very hollow to me. I can only point to the prose itself, where phrases were coined from cerebral rather than visual or emotional words. Some moments were evident where the writer tried to be writer-ly, which threw a wet blanket on the whole scene and depressed the mood going forward.
Although visual descriptions were offered, none burned in my mind like other works I've read, yet many should have. While the characters moved and spoke and acted, none evoked that distinct perfume that distinguishes one from the others. Frankly, the plot surprises were but jolts, like hitting small pot holes in the road; none fascinated nor intrigued me. The novel has paranormal elements, which themselves should be interesting, but strangely, never fulfilled the promise.
In a world where so much was lost, and the reader was constantly reminded of the ways things had been, the sense was not deep nor tragic, and often faded to a drab background. I was unconvinced of the author's vision of that world, and of the characters moving through it. That said, the handling of story and descriptive texts were competent, so my rating is 3.5, but not enough magic transpired to move it to 4 stars.