I picked this book up for two reasons; 1) It is Book 1 of "The Sentients of Orion" and I decided if there is more than one volume it can't be too bad or the 2nd wouldn't have been published. 2) The publisher is Orbit, they've published a lot of the other books I've read and I've always been happy with them.
The story takes several different strands of life and weaves them together as a planet goes from quiet backwater to invaded warzone. By the end I started to get into the story but that was far too late for me to rate this as a book I'd read again. I think the the problem was the Italian theme. The whole society uses Italianesque words frequently and I found it hard work to understand and get into the story. At one point I considered leaving the book unfinished but I'm glad I did get to the end of it. Will I get book 2? I wont go hunting for it, but I'd read it if I had nothing else. Rootie Rating 1 out of 5 - it wasn't for me.