Set in a clockwork world, a young boy breaks out of his every day life to find that what the Watchmaker has created is not all there is in the world.
One will recognize the archetypes from other works (P.T. Barnum, the Smokers of Waterworld, V is for Vendetta) interwoven into a literary theme of the idea of a "hive mind" and an open acceptance of the theme of a bee hive (hexagons, images of bees on buildings). It is a story -- a fairy tale even -- told as a tale recounted for the grandkids of Owen Hardy. It parallels the Rush album of the same name with lyrics interwoven.
I got caught up in the telling, maybe I haven't read as much steampunk as others, maybe I just enjoy reading a story that could have been told by my grandfather if we lived in Owen's world. The more classic-literary style is a refreshing change to the SHOW SHOW SHOW of epic stories.