A perfectly enjoyable and fast-reading space opera. One third of the book goes to space battles, one third to politics/world building, and one third to surprisingly non-terrible romances. The world building and sci-fi elements are well thought out, meaty, and occasionally clever. They aren't as brilliant as you would find in M. Banks, and there are occasional mis-steps (authors, please stop mixing psionics in with your sci-fi stories! Keep the psychics in the fantasy ghetto! Thank you!), but overall the story doesn't make you feel dumb when you read and enjoy it. Oh, and the big reveal at the end was a bit underwhelming. Still, it seems like a solid foundation for a new series.