Sorry, next post will not be another book review, I promise.
When I sat down to read this book, I was divided. Part of it seemed really interesting, specially the idea of converting aliens to an Earth religion. Other parts seemed, well, rather boring (the difficulties of a really long distance marriage). It turned out to be very different from what I expected. It is understated, the alien colony is almost boring and everything seems dispassionate. But there is a lot of subtle and interesting things going on at the same time.
The book inverts many of the stereotypes we expect: life on an alien planet is boring while life on Earth is collapsing; converting aliens is easy, a marriage isn't. No matter how terrifying the news from Earth, it gets diluted into the everyday life of those away from the planet. And the same could be said about marriage.
However, the book does lose its pacing at times. The setup of the situations was more interesting than the resolutions, unfortunately.
Yes, I am being deliberately vague. A lot of the interest in the book was in finding out how things worked or didn't, at least for me. I don't want to destroy that discovery. I am somewhat divided on my feelings about this book and I think it comes through in this review!