While this was a very fast paced book with a lot of interesting parts to it, it didn't turn out very well.
The writing, especially in the first hundred pages, was very dry, to the point where I was thinking that it would be more fun to read yesterday's newspaper. While the language and writing style did improve somewhat afterward, it was still a little lacking all throughout the novel. While there were a few riveting or very real scenes, the dialogue pretty much didn't sound real; I couldn't picture real people saying those lines. Just as a quick example...the dedication -- "we are indebted to so and so for translating this poem. we are indebted to so and so for the maps". Straight from the heart. Moving on.
Again, this book was extremely fast paced, but there were quite a few flaws. A few of the characters were very well rounded, but I found most of the main characters to be quite flat. Many of the "plot twists" weren't very surprising, I had guessed the ecological situation long before all these "geniuses" came up with it.
Also, while all the little details were technically correct, it was too "by the book" for a science-fiction action/adventure novel. Everything was predictably placed, and the "grendels" failed to inspire much awe or fear in me.
While I agree to an extent with the reviewer before me ranting about the ecological concerns, these didn't really bother me so much...If I moved to another planet, I wouldn't care if the carnivores that tried to eat me and my kids were there first, I'd shoot now and try to get along peacefully later too.
Was this book great? No. Was it good, fast, and a fun way to spend an afternoon or three? Yes. Don't look for any deep messages here, but if you want a quick shoot-em-up romp with some sex and technology on the side, you'll find it here.