The Difference Engine, is considered to be a steampunk classic and I could really see why.
This one? Not so much ...
The Sydeian Coalition is ... fun. It did hold my interest. But most of the time I got the feeling that I was reading a novel that was due as a term paper by some eleventh grader. No ... an eighth grader. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, proper word usage, etc., etc., all were pretty much thrown out the window in this one. However, there may be one small saving grace here in that maybe, just maybe, that was all done intentionally. Y'see, this book was written in the form of diary or journal extracts by the two fictional (I assume ...) main characters.
From the beginning:
It takes place in 1866-67. Some Earthlings stepped foot on the moon and somehow pissed off the people that live on the moon, who then attacked Earth with giant spaceships and nasty weapons and stuff. We Earthlings hadn't even learned to fly yet, so this was kinda a bad thing at the time. Captain Sydeian (of the book title), former Army (I guess), had had the opportunity to set foot on the moon and accidentally piss off the moon dudes. He spent lots of time thereafter trying to figure out how to defeat them here on Earth. He bumped into one William Percival, a youngin' who had managed to make some really cool kites that were kinda sorta controlled remotely. So the two of them got together, sorta kinda went into hiding and made the world's first flying machine, complete with big-bad-ass cannon (how else you gonna shoot down the moon dudes in flight?) and a gigantic-ass balloon which they deployed from the top of said flying machine on occasion when they needed to make repairs on the fly (no pun intended ... really).
So these two kept daily-ish journals telling of their exploits, and from this we find out what is happening day to day. It is a neat concept, as we get to sometimes hear the same story (maybe a dogfight against the moon dude flying thingamajigs) from two different viewpoints. Also, though, most people ... I guess ... tend to not proofread their own journal writings. I don't keep a journal or diary, but if I did I certainly would read through it to correct any mistakes I made. I don't know ... maybe it's a British thing ... If this is the case then my above observation about the grade school kid is incorrect.
But ... I think not.