This second book in Cobley's Humanity's Fire saga stirs thing up a bit. Word has gotten out about the ancient artifact on the planet of Darien and a plethora of groups organic and machine, real space and hyperspace want to use it for their own means. Just about all of them are converging on the once backwater world. This makes for a great story with many complex layers but it is in danger of getting confusing. It almost feels as if Colby's stage is too small for the number of actors upon it. At times it seems pretty clear who are the main heroes and villains to watch but then another thread unravels and you begin to wonder if the main plot is happening elsewhere. Is this masterful story telling or is it just a lack of discipline by the author? It remains to be seen how the final novel ties it all together. I am certainly interested enough to want to find out.