Palimpsest begins with the description of a factory that creates all the city's vermin. Stamping out glass like mosquitoes and mice whose hair starts out too stiff when they are new but softens in a few hours. How can anyone not be captivated by that?
The story follows four strangers initiated into the strange city at the same time and bonded forever after. The city can only be accessed via sex. Almost all find it by accident - a fling with a stranger leads to waking up with a small map fragment of the city etched forever on their skin. Only by finding and sleeping with other map holders can they access more parts of the city.
Not only is the story amazingly original and imaginative, but the author writes like an artist. Every word choice and turn of phrase is so well thought out. This really is an amazing book. I give it an 8.5 out of 10.