This is the kind of book that on its own is not a masterpiece, though it is interesting enough. The main character, Nigel Walmsley, is an astronaut who stumbles across an alien derelict and it changes his life. The setting is a future that has some elements of dystopia, but they are mostly offstage and just refered to in passing. Walmsley is Brit who is also employed by NASA and ends up working at the JPL in the middle of the book, then manages to get assigned to a moon base when more alien technology is discovered there. The way he gets involved in all of this stuff is just little unrealistic, but you have to suspend disbelief. The thing about this novel is that it is setting up the rest of the series. After all, the Galactic Center makes no appearance here, but it will show up later. So all in all it is worth your time if you want to read a sereis that is considered a classic in the genre.