Declaration of bias — I know the author, and I know that this affected how willing I was to keep reading. I greatly enjoyed the book, but it uses a very terse, elliptical style that took some time to get used to, and I think this will cause many readers to bounce off the prose. I would strongly suggest finding excerpts (I think there are some on the Baen website somewhere) and reading to see if you like the style.
That said, this is a solid first novel with an interesting story and some likeable characters. It’s an alternative history book that’s firmly grounded in reality — with one minor exception, not obvious to the reader, everything is physically plausible. And I am impressed with the way Friedman has worked some of his libertarian philosophy into the book without hitting the reader over the head with it. Too much political speculative fiction involves blatant sermons–this book uses a much more subtle showing-rather-than-telling approach and is so much better for it. It adds depth to the story rather than turning it into a political tract.
It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but if you can handle the elliptical prose style it’s an enjoyable read.