In the first book the protagonists were first introduced to a fractured world, and struggled to come to terms with their changed circumstances. At the end of that book, one person was allowed to return to the home world that had been lost.
In this book, we get the returnee having to come to terms with what has happened. We also get the prospect of scientists realising what will happen, with one genius predicting what will happen to the earth during solar storms, and if the damage to the earth can be limited. They also discover the tampering done by an intelligence first introduced in the first book.
The interplay introduced between scientists, politicians, religions and people is nicely interwoven, and we get to see the best of humanity. We also get to see some of the more base reactions that humanity can produce, but thankfully these are rare. This book is more about a feel-good version of humanity, and what might be achieved if there is a common purpose.
The story woven is detailed enough to satisfy the curiosity of most, without being too detailed and thus boring. This book moves along at a faster pace than the first book, and has a greater sense of urgency. Due to the subject matter, this is appropriate. It is well written and involves the reader better than the first book did, and I enjoyed this book more.
I would recommend this book be read, but ONLY after the first book has been read, as otherwise some of the refences made may not make sense. It can be read independently, but may not then be as enjoyable.