Like New Crobuzon, although necessarily smaller, Armada is a joy to explore, with different districts built from ship hulls, each with their own rulers, factions and eccentricities. The uneasy truce is held by current rulers The Lovers, whose history is itself a fascinating subplot. Being populated by pirates it's a brutal society and Bellis has to find herself a niche, adapt and survive. Armada itself is changing. Historically it has drifted from secret location to secret location, surviving (naturally) by piracy - but now there's a power struggle going on, and new factions have ambitious plans to summon a powerful force from the depths of the ocean, which itself will be just the start of an even more audacious plan.
As with the first Bas-Lag novel, The Scar overflows with colourful descriptive prose and equally colourful characterization. The restrained but resourceful Bellis carries the story although many of the other characters, human, Remade or otherwise, are also memorable.