This novel is properly about teen troubles and lesbian love (teenage and adult). As might be expected from an expert author of speculative fiction (the Isis series), the narrative concerns itself with the sociological dimension of the characters' adventures. The writing is excellent (Stewart has a real gift for bringing settings to life, and her Seattle is so much more physically immediate than the futureworld of Isis, it feels you're IN it while you read), and for some reason the teenagers in the story get the really hot (and achingly tender) lovemaking scenes. Isis, with its lesbian warrior society, offers nothing so intense as the erotic writing these kids elicit. I'm hoping the physicality in ECB will transfer over to and heighten that of the forthcoming Isis stories.