The NPR drone on the front cover was wrong...I could put it down (I never would go to NPR for scifi opinion anyway). Other reviews here though make me want to retry and I will. I did. Oops, :o) I have to retract my initial words and agree with the NPR reviewer...what a fantastic book! He has so many interesting characters, plotlines and technologies...and believeable. You won't have a problem finding at least one character to identify with. I had the feeling this world was just a little in the future. The glider ride on Far Away alone was worth the book-wow (I'm a glider pilot so I'm biased). The book takes awhile to get going and it takes a long time to get to Pandora's Star itself. Once that happens though, it is like hearing the theme from Jaws in the background. Something serious is about to happen and it's not good. Read this one! And get the second book, Judas Unchained, at the same time because you won't want to wait once you finish this book.