I've been trying on and off to read this book ever since I received it in April, and I'm totally subject to this amazing guilt complex as a consequence. There is every reason why I should like it -- epic fantasy, guy starting off small and pitting himself against the world & Gods & etc..... But every time I get back started with it, I get totally irritated with something else. This is not to say that it isn't good -- it's a great first book -- but the settings and archetypes that the author has chosen to work with have too much baggage for me to deal with comfortably. Your mileage may vary. :)
To begin with, the author really sets himself up for failure by setting the book on Mars. A story with a Mars setting carries with it a humongous amount of baggage on its back that it has to live up to -- set it on Sram and don't mention anything about Terra or Earth and it wouldn't have struggled so much. I realize that this is an unfair critique, and that every author has the right to create his own setting, but there are some settings that you just need to pay homage to What Has Come Before.
My other big complaint that came up every single time I picked the book back up was something that someone else mentioned earlier that I just couldn't put my finger on until they said it -- the bad guys are such complete stereotypical Bad Guys that they become laughable.
Otherwise.... I really wanted to like this book. I really, truly, honestly did. It had everything going for it, but just didn't pull it off for me. I think that my suspension of disbelief just kept getting suspended by something or other; a good editor who wasn't afraid to ask the author to simplify (think of that, me, an epic fantasy buff who really enjoys a good politically driven story, asking for a story to be simplified!) certain aspects of the story in order for it to flow more easily would have done a world of good. :/