Creative storyline and a strong heroine. It's the first book in the series, so I felt some things were lacking, and there were some issues in the world building that bothered me; for the most part, this was an action-packed book that I enjoyed more than I expected to.I remember reading the blurb, realizing that the protagonist was a cross-dressing female, and said to myself "No." I've got nothing against it, it is just not a genre of storytelling that interests me. my experience with this genre has been limited to Shakespeare (yuck) and manga (HanaKimi, also yuck. It doesn't help that I highly disliked all the characters in the live-action adaptations either, but I digress). Therefore, I had my doubts when confronted with this book.It's no surprise given my background and cultural heritage, but I love stories based in Asia and Asian cultures. Generally, those have not been well-interpreted in books, particularly those written by Caucasian authors...they often come off as rather patronizing (think Hollywood action movies and The Last Samurai, and so I had many, many doubts coming into this book. Only under duress did I start reading this. Sometimes, one just find oneself in the midst of a reading drought. It's during those periods that I get out of my reading comfort zone, and oftentimes find myself truly enjoying something I didn't think I would. This book would be one of those situations.The world building is a little bit strange to me. It's clearly a world based on the Far Eastern cultures, particularly China, Korea, and Japan, but I do get thrown off by the nomenclature. It's strange reading a book based on the Far East where the characters have Western sounding names. It's the equivalent of reading the Bible's list of angel names, getting used to Raphael and Michael and Uriel and then all of a sudden...the Angel Bob. It's a bit jarring and discordant to the system. That's a small complaint, though.I found the character building somewhat lacking. Eon(a) of course, is awesome. Of course, one should hope so, since she is the main character, but all the other characters are portrayed somewhat superficially. We don't get too deep a glimpse into their character, what makes them tick, or get more of their personality besides the superficial. It makes sense within the context of the book, since Eona never really get to become too close to anyone, for fear of revealing who she is. I hope the next book will do a better part in that sense.One character of whom I'm rather fond is Lady Dela, the Contraire. She reminds me of Nuriko from one of my favorite anime, Fushigi Yuugi (only uglier). I also like Lord Ido's character, his is one of the more well-developed ones, and I'm a sucker for ambiguously evil anti-heroes. Emperor Kygo is just dull...I think he's meant to be the love interest, but there's not much in him that interests me. Maybe in the next book.