Down-on-his-luck spaceship captain Wain is hired by some academics who want to investigate life on a moon orbiting a gas giant. On the moon, among the ruins of an ancient civilisation, live tribes of somewhat intelligent animals who clearly didn’t evolve there. But when the academics dig too deep, they find unexpected trouble — endangering themselves, Wain, and his ship.
The writing is excellent, though a bit on the wordy side for my taste. Sadly, there are quite a few editing errors, which is annoying when the writing is otherwise good, but this doesn’t seriously detract from the story. The setting is original and interesting and there’s plenty of science fiction content to enjoy, including AI, virtual reality and alien civilisations. Combined with a decent plot, engaging characters and a little humour, it all makes for a really enjoyable read.