I guess I should stop reading SF just because it involves gay main characters. It was never my genre, I generally find it too depressing, as it is the case with this book.
This is a fine book indeed: the author's lack of experience is clear only because of some clumsy character descriptions. The writing is already satisfying, the pacing good and the characters finely drawn and consistent.
It is the setting which is depressing: the world... well the universe we are given here is complex, believable, complete... just depressing: plenty of worlds where the law of the strongest is the only law, corruption, slavery, abuse are the unhappy rules. No way we can escape our own grim reality because we find it here, finely pictured, incredibly cruel.
The idea of the "Dream" I found extremely interesting, new and original. I think that just that makes the reading of this book worthwhile.
As mentioned above the two main characters are explicitly gay: sensitive reader should not shudder, though: there is no explicit sex, just a bit of believable, "manly" romance.