I've been a big fan of Vinge for a long time, but more so after "a fire upon the deep". His last two were big space opera plots with a dash of new technology thrown in, more on the ian m banks thread. This novel goes in a very different direction and moves very strongly into the thriller rather the science fiction territory. The trends explored here, fully immersive technology, difficulty of multi generational family relationships, knowing just who your allies are in a much more connected world and the challenge of sudden technology step change, made this some what jerky in places.
However I found on rereading , a few months later the book grew on me and the multi layer, multi threaded story started to become more coherent.
Vinge's background, as a professor of computing science shines through in places, particularly in his assumption of audience understanding of technology challenges.
Finally there is a real juicy hook here in the presence of a complex "AI" character just crying out for a sequel. What are you "rabbit?"
I'd say "persevere with this book" it rewards persistence