This is the sequel to "Pandora's Star". I read these books when they first came out and enjoyed them. Hamilton is an extraordinarily descriptive writer, and the difference between reading words on the page and hearing them inside your head is striking. One can see, in one's minds eye, the mis-en-scene and the action in a way only listening can achieve.
The story spans a great part of our galaxy, and introduces a number of alien species, including one implacable enemy, that come alive as characters in the story. The protagonists--and there are several--are not supermen (or super beings) but have their faults and foibles.
Of course, this being science fiction, there are some advances in technology (especially in biotechnology) that are central to the plot. And while these are, typically, a good deal beyond being likely anytime in the near future, they are extrapolations of present-day technologies that ring true to the imagination.
Finally, the reading is superb.
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