I don't know how to review The Windup Girl. So, if you like science fiction at all, I'll just say: read this and love it. Or maybe you won't. But if you don't, your tastes are WRONG, because IT is AWESOME.
The Windup Girl is perhaps the most well-known example of biopunk, a genre spawned from a combination of cyberpunk's world view and ecological concerns. This book won the Nebula Award for Best Novel this year, beating down Cherie Priest's zombie steampunk tale, Boneshaker, and some other worthy contenders. Some say Bacigalupi's style is reminiscent of William Gibson and Ian McDonald, and I wouldn't argue against this. But, like Saturn's Children--Even Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" or Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye--the issue of identity, and the results of being viewed as "other," are a central theme within the novel.
“The Windup Girl” is a fantastic read. I enjoyed the world-building of the author. It is such dynamic, desperate and vivid description of a collapsing world with a worsening environmental situation.
The Windup Girl is a novel about Thailand in the 22nd century, when global warming and resource depletion has led to the only practical energy source being manually wound springs. To wind these gigantic springs, they have these huge elephant things (picture those elephants from "The Return of the King") called megadonts.