I first off have to say one bad thing - well banish - balls this is a two parter. I'm getting a bit miffed by the fact that more and more and more and more books are at least two parts these days. What's wrong with a standalone novel? What I ask?!?!?
Anyway, rant over....
I enjoyed the parallel stories of 'now' and 40 years ago. The similarities in situation, standing, character etc was enjoyable indeed. The stories seeming to be in tandem was indeed enjoyable to me!
When it came to the characters, I really liked Van Bam and Samuel. In fact they totally ruled. It was interesting to see how their stories and backgrounds etc etc changed and how they became who they became. Marney and Clara however were a bit annoying. Indeed, the similarities in parallel character was good, but they were a bit winey....
Now, Hamir! Well he brought an edge to this book which made it more Sci-Fi than Fantasy and enhanced the genre mashup which was there to begin with. I did indeed like that and I do indeed thoroughly look forward to getting to know him. Indeed, I may well read the next one because this was sure a page turner and a book I did enjoy!