Lavie uses language like no other writer I've encountered. It's pulp and the highest-brow intellectualism at the same time. In amongst mundane descriptions of table tops and furniture, he drops amazing limes of poetry as if they were no more important than the ring left by a coffee cup.
And the plotting is masterly. Exposition and travel handled deftly, like an expert card shark. A strong thread of questions pulled me from page to page.
I'm not sure what to think of the woman who hires Joe, the main character. Certainly I did feel a lack of defined female characters, but haven't yet decided if I think there's a lack of defined characters in general. Not due to poor writing, but due to the protagonist's world view, and the world he's in.
Never-the-less, a beautiful book.