I happened to pick up this book by chance. Also it is only part of the Island Worlds series by the authors (the others being Act of God, Between the Stars, & I beleive one titled simply Island Worlds though they all appear out of print so it is hard to tell for sure until I find more of the titles), so my opinion of the book is going to note the fact of this book on it's own & not as part of the group. It starts as a rather normal sort of hard SF plot, with the basicis being the exploration of a planet in of all places the Delta Pavonis solar system. It quickly jumps ahead & tosses in characters from previous books without introducing them very well (short one paragrpah discriptions generalizing why the are important), that edge the plot toward a sort of race to decipher some alien artifacts that are found. I like the plot though at times it seems to skip ahead by months or even a couple of years without much of an interlude. My only real complaint abotu teh book is the fact that it seems as if it would work better compiled with teh other books of the serious with the way past characters are handled & the fact that they jump ahead in time without much notice or recap of what happened until they seem to remember they skipped telling us this part of the story. I still recomend it, but if you can do yourself a favor & get the whole series at once or in order.