Despite the high praise on the back cover and intriguing premise, this novel left me feeling kinda meh.
The worldbuilding and the plot were at least interesting enough that I wanted to keep going for awhile, and I did manage to make it through twelve chapters before setting it aside. However, the characters are as flat as a Kiskashin’s sense of humor, and often take actions that don’t seem to be motivated by anything except it would lead to a gosh so cool scene or situation.
While intellectually interesting and many-layered, the plot and side-plots weren’t tightly bound to a cohesive story thread enough for me to become emotionally invested in what was happening. It doesn’t help that the star of the show, Brennan Pike, comes off as a happy-go-lucky cross between Han Solo, a leprechaun, and a cartoon pirate. The dialogue as-written reflects this. So annoying.
Highlights: expansive world-building, huge ancient alien starship, creative meshing of artificial and advanced biological life forms, interesting side plot that takes place inside a mind crystal
Lowlights: somehow manages to be pretty boring overall, despite all of the above
DNF (pg 252 of 483). 3/5 Stars.