A book desperately in need of an editor. Usually when I say that I mean a copyeditor, but the text was pretty clean on a mechanical level. It's the pacing and plotting that needed work. There's cool worldbuilding, believable characters, and the hint of an interesting storyline here, but it's all buried under a mountain of clumsy exposition, motivations from the school of the-plot-needs-us-to-do-this-so-we-will, and extraneous details. Meanwhile, some essential plot moments are brushed over with barely a sentence or two.
I would be willing to give the author another shot, but I'd want a personal recommendation from someone I trusted, first.