This sort of book would seem interesting in summary--aliens, political intrigue, building a complex setting--but reading it I found it inexplicably dull, having a pretty thorough disconnect from the story here. Could have partly the circumstances I was reading it, or following it right after a much better book, but something about Bishop's whole presentation of the world and the narrative left me cold and unable to invest in. Unlike with Glory, I don’t have the prior experience to give the author the benefit of the doubt, and throughout it struck me as a rather stale and predictible piece of science fiction writing.
Worse than: Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson
Better than: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer