Steampunk alternate history in the Belgian Congo. With a premise like that you know things are going to be interesting, at the very least.
Others have addressed this book in much more detail, and I've not intention of repeating points other people have made with far more with and style than I could muster. I'll merely say that the pacing issues in the first half of the book—when Shawl jumps from character to character and year to year while showing us the emergence of the state of Everfair from the horrors of Leopold's colony—are not trivial, but that it all comes together in the second half. I was also very impression with the way Daisy ('the poet') was used as an avatar for a certain kind of well-meaning but blinkered white colonial mindset without degenerating into a one-note straw (wo)man.
And that's all I have to say about that. Happy New Year!