Backcover Synopsis: The heroine is fourteen-year-old Pella Marsh, whose mother dies just as her family flees a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn for the frontier of a recently discovered planet. Hating her ineffectual father, and troubled by a powerful attraction to the virile but dangerous loner who holds swap over the little colony, Pella embarks on a course of discovery that will have tragic and irrevocable consequences – both for the humans in her community, and also for the mysterious and passive indigenous inhabitants, The Archbuilders.
I liked this novel, despite the fact that the ending left me hanging and scratching my head. But maybe for a coming-of-age novel like this the voyage is much more important than the ending. I also liked some of the concepts, the small spy-aliens or the Archbuilder themselves. When Lethem tries, he can achieve his own distorted sense of wonder effect, weird and unlike the SOW you find in other SF, but still pleasing. The book is all about the characters, and since I could connect with them, the book worked for me.