In the near future humans develop the technology to "fold" space in such a way that they can travel multiple light years in mere seconds. In exploring their first new solar system, humans discover several buildings that house ancient lexicons, full of information. These were left behind by a race identified as The Saiph. Using this information humans begin reshaping their technology, discovering new solar systems and finding potential allies and definite enemies.
I picked this book up because I love military sci-fi and Corcoran incorporates his own experience in the military with his books.
That being said, I had to take a break from this book about half way through. I realized I wasn't enjoying it when they were having their first battle against the Others (enemy alien race) and I was bored. I took a long break from reading it, came back to it and then finished it. For me it didn't really pick up until the alliances with other species came into play. When it was just humans versus others, I didn't really care. It wasn't until we teamed up with other friendly races that I actually started caring.
Part of the problem, for me, is the lack of character depth. I'm not saying the characters were one dimensional, I'm saying that we don't get to know the characters well enough to really care about them. A lot of times it felt like just saying someone's name and occupation was supposed to be enough to make me care about them. Other times it felt like there were so many names, ranks and occupations that it was hard to keep characters straight.
Once the other races came into play, though, I was fully engaged. I'm not fully sure I know why other than that it felt like it was no longer just "us versus them". It finally felt like there were actually other worlds to learn about, other cultures to learn from, and more.
I really appreciated Corcoran's sense of humor that came into play at good moments. I loved the contrasting ideas about "appropriate greetings" between the cultures. I really liked that economics and population were factors. There were plenty of technical aspects of expansion, exploration and war that were addressed that made it feel more real. My only problem is a lack of connection to the characters.
Overall, I can really only give this book a 2.5. I had to make myself finish it and it didn't pick up until late. I doubt I'll pick up any more books in this series.