When you click on "Look inside, you get a wonderful exerpt from the book. On the strength of this, I ordered it - only to be sent a French language edition! This is not made clear on the click to look inside facility. Buyers beware.
When he's writing about sci-fi it's not too bad, but as soon as Schroeder writes about the characters it's really awful. He has no understanding of how people talk to each in the real world, and their internal thoughts and the motivations behind their actions are so weak and unbelievable. The understanding of people felt childish. The character with the sci-fi religion was really bad.
I couldn't bear to read it and was skimming all the tedious character stuff - ultimately I went to the end to see what happened and was done with it.
Yes it's an adventure story, but this is a book for those people who like science fiction rooted in a decent understanding of the ways in which technology and economy interract. Two forms of space travel in one galaxy; FTL which gets you places in hours but can only link the largest of planets, or slow burn cyclers which link the "halo worlds" of artificial settlement in large trade rings. If FTL wins, the Halo worlds will become ghost towns, the places the trains no longer stop.