I'd never read anything from Adam Roberts before picking up this book so did not know what to expect. But I was thoroughly satisfied by what I found.
This book definitely fits within the category of hard sci-fi. It is firmly grounded in the reality that any kind of space colonisation is a massively expensive and demanding enterprise. Even so, it relies on the invention of a technology which is described by Roberts in just the right amount of detail to make it plausible within the book's storyline.
The themes explored in the book are reminiscent of Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
, as well as some of the works of Phillip K. Dick. As the book develops, the author experiments by telling the story from varying characters' points of reference and different styles of writing. He also manages to factor in an gradual evolution in the English language over the generations spanned by the novel, an attempt that may seem a bit jarring, but not overwhelmingly so.
Certainly, this book is not for everybody. However, I am awarding it five stars as I certainly appreciated its refreshingly different approach to sci-fi storytelling.