On the positive side, this book has crossed a dystopian steampunk story with a fantasy novel and it actually works. Quite well, in fact. The basic plot is excellent and the cast of characters is varied and interesting.
The problem for me, and the main reason for the 3 star review, is that I really disliked the author's writing style. Here is a sentence taken from the book: "A five-sided fist of yellow stone amidst a growth of hunchbacked, abandoned slaughterhouses, the great nest of pipes and tanks and vomiting chimneys that must be the refinery, a rusted length of intestine spilling from its bowels and leading off north toward First House." Now, picture page after page of sentences just like that one and you can understand why, at one point, it took a whole chapter just to describe a walk across town. I completely understand that this is a matter of personal preference. Some people enjoy this style of writing and some don't. I just happen to be one who does not.
I had a few other minor quibbles. Many of the characters were too one-dimensional. The author often chose to describe in great detail things that I didn't really care that much about, while completely skipping over events I wanted to know more about. The story left me with some unanswered questions that may, or may not be addressed in future books - both the subtitle, "The Lotus War Book One," and the Amazon description indicate that this is intended to be the first in a series.
Do I recommend this book? Maybe. As I said, the basic premise and plot are great. If the idea of a feudal Japanese dystopian steampunk fantasy novel appeals to you and you aren't bothered by the writing style, with its long, descriptive, adjective-overloaded sentences, then you will probably enjoy this book. However, I didn't like it enough to read any future books in the series.