A new novel from allen steele, who specialises in space opera set in believable near future environments.
This one is set in the same future history he created for several recent novels about a planet called coyote. the first world to be colonised by humans it is now independent and host to an embassy from a recently contacted alien race. But all this is explained in the book in enough detail that you don't need to have read the previous coyots novels to read this one.
The book runs for twenty chapters and 269 pages, and is split into four parts.
It begins with a man from earth, who is using an assumed name, endeavouring to board a spaceship so that he can get to coyote. Once he does that, a whole new life, romance, alien encounters, and a very dangerous mission await him.
Narrated in the first person this is nothing exceptional but a pretty decent read for the first three parts, as you can never be sure what is going to happen next and it's interesting to watch the plot unfold.
But what would be four star material drops off a little to three in the final part, with a dangerous mission where the required tension is never really there. added to which the main character is somewhat bland and thus you can never be interested in him or the burgeoning romance he has with another character as much as required.
All in all a decent read but lacking the certain something extra needed to make it four star material.
the book ends with the timeline of this future history and a short preview of another coyote novel from the same writer that will be out soon.