For a sequel, the book starts off a little slow and gradually builds to become more interesting, more exciting, and more engaging. The developments in the Motie system after many years of blockade are the interesting points of note here and the focus on Horace Bury as the lead human representative was also a different approach to my expectations for the novel.
The novel almost entirely focuses on events in and around the Motie system, space battles are to a degree, shortened and lacking detail, which is not necessarily a bad thing as it gives a more focus to the story without the details. A couple of infodumps litter the pages but other than that its a science fiction novel that continues the story of humanity's encounter with its first intelligent alien species, and one that has changed from the last time they met. An interesting read, and a worthy successor to The Mote in God's Eye.