Brilliant is the only word I can use to describe this book, it is just fantastic. This is the first of Rusch's solo books I had read (I'd read several of her Star Trek books written with husband Dean Wesley Smith), and I have to admit I wasn't expecting much. But I was very much mistaken. This is better than the majority of her Star Trek books, though not her best (White Mists of Power is better).
It is a book full of horror and intrigue, and Rusch's prose keeps you totally engaged the whole way through. The characters are not perfect and are very indentifable with, and we can feel for their problems, and Rusch injects some real feeling. At times we feel scared for the characters (BTW I would call this horror, not SF), something that is hard to get across in a book. The ending is a great climax, not what I was expecting, but I won't give it away, read it yourself!