It took me a while to get into this the second novel of Gary Gibson's Shoal Sequence because it is a long time since I read the first novel "Stealing Light". Nevertheless I enjoyed the story once I got up to speed. An ancient race called the Shoal rigidly control all access to faster than light travel which enables them to act as benevolent overlords to all other "client" species. As sequence unfolds we discover all is not quite as it seems and that the Shoal's motives may not be quite as altruistic as it first appears. Complicated Space Opera but good stuff none the less.