For those who enjoy probable scientific advancements in the near future, this book is likely something you will enjoy. It has the flavor of E.E. Doc Smith’s realism and Heinlein’s forward thinking combined in a wonderful new way. Even though this is the first in a series, the story is wonderfully self contained with just enough hints about possible other encounters that a follow on book is perfectly understandable.
The characters have a wonderful feel of depth to them, and while maybe not as complex as some, they are definitely multi-dimensional. The setting in which they are placed not only feels real, but also has an element of realism I haven’t seen in a while. This one is definitely one I could see happening in the next generation or so, which is one of the things Richard says he is striving for.
The tension is fully maintained throughout the narrative through the proper use of pacing, explanation and witty repartee in the dialogue, and enough factual information is provided to carry the story forward without dropping a lot of irrelevant detail on you. Even the scenes that are transition have something going on, which makes this one a fun over all read.
For me, this definitely counts as a 5 out of 5 stars. A very late well done!