I’ve read some of Greg Bear’s work before, decades ago (e.g., Eon). I didn’t care for it much. I’m sorry to say that neither age nor experience has increased my enjoyment. I wish I could blame it on coming in at the end of the trilogy, but in fact the backstory was fairly clear; Bear does a good job of bringing us up to date without infodumps. It’s the rest of the book I had trouble with. The prose is choppy, seemingly in an attempt to illustrate natural dialogue, but the fact is that people don’t talk like this most of the time. The plot points are fairly arbitrary; even allowing for the complexity of the backdrop, very little of what happens makes much sense. Even the book’s major quest element – a long voyage – ends up having little purpose, and then the book ends in an inconsequential rush.
If you loved the first books of the trilogy, or you’re one of the fans who have brought Bear his continued success, I assume you’ll like this too. If you’re new to Bear or the trilogy, I can’t recommend this; it’s just not a good book.