I am a stupidly intense Neal Stephenson fan.
I have read *everything* he wrote except "The Big U", including essays, The Mongoliad, and Interface. This is not one of his top-tier books.
The love for the topic shines through, he's probably as much of a space fan as I am a fan of him, and clearly he loved the idea and setting for this. On the other hand, some things have taken a turn for the wooden.
The beginning of the book, with the multiple-point-of-view style felt like something out of a 70s Arthur Hailey book, like "Hotel" or "Airport". It gets better, but it never gets *cracking*.
Plus, it has a Stephenson finale, which is ok if the ride there was like previous rides, but not so ok if the ride is just good.
After reading the previous you may wonder why 4 starts. Are you kidding me? It's Neal Stephenson! I am reviewing it compared to his previous books which are some of my favourite novels ever! Compared to most others this is a kickass page turner with vivid imagination and so on and so forth.