I bought this book primarily because of the Maria Snyder endorsement--I found Maria's STUDY books to be so addicting that any endorsement by her was enough for me!It did strike me as perfect, too, as I read and saw just how addicting North's work is. LIBYRINTH had that same unputdownable quality as POISON STUDY had--something unexplainably gripping that made me want to not put the book down until I finished.North has built a new world here from the ground up--sort of. Clearly the world of LIBYRINTH is some sort of alternate/futuristic/dystopic world that spins from our own. There are things (most notably the books and character names) that come directly from our world. But this is not a world in the recognizable near future. This world often refers to the Ancients--but these Ancients are clearly people far more advanced than we are today.Think of it cyclically--our world is superseded by a more technologically powerful one, which in turn falls, but from the remains, a new world emerges and, eventually, that is the world of LIBYRINTH.But beyond the world, there's a truly unique plot as well. First of all, you have the characters interacting with the world which, in itself, would be fascinating. Their customs, religions, and ideas are all so uniquely presented. Take, for example, Illysies, where women rule over men (not in a cliched way, but in a very day-to-day way. Preference is given to women. A homely male characater worries about finding a woman who will marry him and allow him to give her daughters. All presented in a very clear, matter of fact way, that makes the world very realistic.)Religion plays a hugely important role in the book, yet it never felt overtly preachy to me (which is quite an accomplishment). LIBYRINTH is a world where religion has shifted and changed and become something almost unrecognizable...almost. And although the religion in LIBYRINTH is entirely specific to the fictitious world (I don't really see, for example, a real world equivalent to the religions presented here; I don't think North was mocking or satirizing or even emulating a current world religion), it also made me think about, question, and affirm religion in the real world.I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys unique, addicting story lines. This is even more highly recommended to people who just love books--and for people who like to think a bit while they read.