I like this book well enough but I feel like I should like it more than I do, it has everything a good sf novel should have. Vastly imaginative, epic, some humor and good characters. Unfortunately I have a problem with the structure of this book, the cast of characters is too big and the author switches character POV too frequently. This type of structure reminds me of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, except that the GRRM books are longer and the characters are better developed. Also most of the chapters are short and some are super-short (like a single paragraph). The way it is done here is quite disorienting for me, every time he does it I become a little detached from the story because I have to keep a tally of who is who and doing what.
While reading the first few chapters I thought that characterization was going to be a problem with this book because I didn't get the feel of any of them. As I read on however I began to realize that the characterization is actually quite good, the problem is that there are just so many important characters and it takes time to attune to any of them. The large number of plot stands and the short chapters make the novel seem fragmented.
With all that said I love the concept of the Uplift universe and can not help but plan to read more. Hopefully the structure of other volumes is not so fragmented.