Fascinating idea: A mad scientist creates a race of dogs to use as war dogs, giving them voice boxes, prosthetic hands, human intelligence, and the ability to stand on their hind legs. Nothing could go wrong here, right? So eventually the dogs escape, come to a sort of modern-day New York, still dressing in Napoleon-era clothing, and try to fit in. This outrageous scenario could have been used effectively to explore so many ideas about racial intolerance, control, war, inheritance, societal norms, fitting in, cities...oh the list could go on and on. Bakis does explore some of those, but the book felt bogged down by the human character, Cleo, a young journalist who is one of the few humans the dogs allow into their world. She documents their tragic decline, their flaws, their strange mix of human and canine personalities, and their history. I found her annoying and distracting from the main story. Every time it switched to her perspective and her personal angst, I started skimming. If the story had focused solely on the dogs, I would have given it 4 stars. As it is though, I did enjoy it. I might have to read it again.