The book is entertaining enough, but much weaker than earlier volumes. I'm thoroughly tired of the tiresome Caijeri and his ninth birthday, which has been a feature since Explorer, from memory. (Is this supposed to be a children's book?) The humans who have come down from the space station are uninteresting, especially Jase, Kaplan and Polano, all of whom were well characterised in earlier books (and I experience no attraction to Caijeri's little friends at all).
There is far too little of Bren's interactions with the Atevi (Banichi, Jago, Algini and Tano, as well as Ilisidi). The story needs to be moved along. Really, this should have been a much tighter title that (finally!) completed the unification action on the planet, then went back to space in the next volume. There is far too little of the tension and stress that there was in the superb initial volumes, in particular those right up to Pretender.
Additionally, about half of this volume seems to go over ground already covered in earlier books. Please, please move it along - and less of Caijeri.