It is rather difficult to talk about Neal Stephenson’s newest without spoiling lots. In generic, cloudy, unsatisfying terms: it’s a Stephenson book, with lots of thought experiments and science and so forth. There are action scenes. The world changes dramatically during the course of the book, as a result of the actions of the protagonists. There is a romance of sorts, in which a practical female character falls for a slightly fuzzy-minded idealist.
The alien world setting is nice. I found myself very engaged by the society and the worldbuilding. Which is good, because there’s a lot of it before the plot proper starts.
OK, spoilers. Don’t get too excited, since it’s just gonna be a one-liner quip.