A wild tapestry of a thoroughly enjoyable story. There are elements of sci-fi, alternate history, fantasy, mystery, quest, fairy tale and more. The hard-boiled tagging of this book shouldn't put off readers who don't usually incline to that breed of book -- it's our hero's will more than any beat-em-up and leave-em-dying that's really hard-boiled. There is violence, but it's neither excessive or gratuitous.
The warp-speed tale is colorful, incredibly convoluted and quick, and challenging: you've got to stop every so often to figure out if you've kept up with all the inferences and developments. With all this, there's more than a sprinkling of dry humour and sarcasm to whet the sharpness of this tale. And if you want to see a really hot and hellish restaurant kitchen, this is the place.
Despite the alternate history aspects - the Ottoman Empire and Imperial Germany still exist - this is a recognizable modern world, advanced technology, bio-medical tinkering (one fantasy element), and the contemporary range of mores we are now familiar with in the Muslim world.
A final note - I was pleasantly surprised that this not a travelogue with action thrown around some famous sites. It takes place where it needs to. Not a pyramid or sphinx in sight, but wonderful dramatic support from the deserts, kitchens as noted already, and boulevards.
An altogether breathless and entertaining experience.