I have been a long-time fan of Niven and have also read a lot of Benford, so I was looking forward to this book. I'm pleased to say that with a couple of reservatios I found the novel engrossing.
Like other reviewers I noticed some editorial issues, characters injured, fixed, and then injured again, timeline troubles and the 'infamous' abrupt ending. Although these issues possibly shouldn't have made it into the final draft once seen and understood they had little affect on my eventual enjoyment of this novel.
It's well worth a read and has all the things fans want from a Niven/Benford collaboration. Sense of Wonder, intersting aliens and an ever present sense of exploration - What's over the next hill, around the corner, down that canyon?
Old fashioned? Yes. Is that a problem? No.
Bring on the next volume, i want to know what happens.