First thing is first: this is a book more focused on setting and character than plot. If you go into it with that expectation (or no expectation, as I did) I think this book will be a worthwhile journey. However, if you're looking for something fast-paced, or that all ties together in a neat bow, you might want to look elsewhere. Each chapter is its own somewhat self-contained glimpse into a future where China has become the predominant world superpower. Some of the chapters tie together more than others, and half of them follow the same main character. They build together not so much to tell a story (though they do) but mostly to form well drawn character sketches and a fleshed out world. Many of the stories made me sad, but almost all of them kept me intrigued. My greatest trepidation with this book was that I wanted more, especially concerning a few of the side characters. But if my #1 gripe was that I was left wanting more I suppose that only speaks to the quality of McHugh's writing skills.