Reads more like the author's personal fantasy than a novel. It had some good moments but there was way too much detail about how exactly the cute little robot girl was dressed every day. The ending was weak. There is a natural stopping point about two thirds of the way through the novel, but it continues past this for a lame happy-ever-after ending. Still, if you have the same fantasies (your own life size walking, talking doll to dress up and make love to), then this book might be for you.
Excellent novel. I loved the journeys (both literal and metaphorical) made by all the protagonists, and the way their paths and relationships developed throughout. The explanation of the stuff of fantasy in terms of advanced technology was pure genius.
At over 400 pages this is not a quick read. It's long. It's complicated. And as Norm says below, there's a *lot* of stuff in it. But having read it, I can't think of any bits that I'd be happy to take out. It's all interlinked.
This is definitely one that goes on my "to be re-read" list.
Didn't do it for me, I'm afraid. The book is at least 100 pages too long and with holes in the plot you could lose a planet in (example: near the beginning the aliens put *all* human men into custody. This might work on an island or space colony, but a whole planet?!? The aliens also have massive power over everybody but can't manage to find a way to stop their own women committing suicide).
There are a lot of explicit sex scenes in this book - mostly superflous to the plot, in my opinion. Apart from slowing down the action, many of them were in contexts of pain or humiliation - orgasms "forced" out of people under duress, rapes (both male and female) which were just plain nasty.
I didn't get all the way through this book, making it the first in decades that I haven't read all the way through - read the first 100 or so pages (skipping some of the more tedious sex scenes) then flicked to the last dozen or so pages to see whether it was worth the effort of reading the rest. Got into some of the excrutiating male/females spirituality stuff and decided that, frankly, it wasn't.
Loved it! This is a great fun read and a new take on the "first contact" theme. Will definitely look out other books by the same author.