This is not high brow literature, it is not a novel that will ever likely be considered a high point in science fiction. There are no unprecedented ideas or thoughts, it is not genre breaking, what it is, is a damn fine science fiction novel that engrosses the reader.
Ringo's The Hot Gate sees the reader return to the Troy Rising series whereby earth is fighting for its survival in a hostile local galactic environment, and it is fighting well. Yet strangely, a lot of the novel's focus is not on this battle, but the trials and tribulations of one Dana 'Comet' Parker after being placed in a division which is predominately full of South American rich kids. How accurately Ringo portrays South American society and cultural values is not something I can authoritatively give an opinion on, but my suspicion is that it is quite simplistic and likely biased/prejudiced.
That being said, it is still a good read if you are after a light read with a good pace that maintains your science fiction loving interest.