like many clarke readers, i came to know him through his more popular works like 2001. i have always found his writing to be enjoyable and easy to digest, and have enjoyed the smarter science fiction he's produced.
i found this book to be uncharacteristic for clarke in several ways. the obvious change is in the setting, underwater as opposed to in space. however, i found clarke departed from his usual careful attention to science absent, as well. several of the realities of the ocean and the world he's created are ignored. finally, clarke's tenor, which i find to be often optimistic and inspiring, is also toned down.
all in all a different book than what i expected, and probably the kind of thing a clarke fan would enjoy when they're looking for a slight departure from the norm. still, not one of his best works.