This book was intriguing...set in a dystopian future filled with terrible diseases, and because of human meddling, natural food is scarce and many animals are extinct. There are dirigibles (which is pretty much the only thing "steampunk" about it, so I'm not sure why so many believe it's steampunk)..and "windups", which are part animal (or human, as the case may be) and part machine. It's a scary, nearly-real look at what our future could be.
There was SO much going on in this book, though...it worked, but at first it was confusing. There was Jaidee and Kanya who are government workers ("white shirts"), Anderson who is a "farang" (foreigner/American), Emiko the windup, and Hock Seng who is a "yellow card" (Chinese refugee). It all mixes together to become a very intense and interesting story, although at first I wasn't sure it would ever come together, that it would be several separate story lines. There's politics, sex, abuse, racism, environmentalism, corruption, karma, and more all stirred together.
I'm not really sure why it's only getting 4 stars, honestly...it just seemed to be missing something that made it a "wow" book to me, but it was still VERY good. It makes me want to read Bacigalupi's works that inspired this novel (The Calorie Man and Yellow Card Man).