Set in interstellar future (ca. 2500 by my reckoning), we follow Captain Mae Swain and her band of misfits on board the New Earth Alliance Rescue (N.E.A.R.) ship Alexander as they respond to a distress beacon originating from a remote uninhabited planet. Adventure ensues.
By far Steller's greatest strength is his ability to write keen descriptions of the various technologies, their functions, and at times how they work. You never feel as if the writer is making up terms to explain away things he can't be bothered to map out, as is the case in some Sci-Fi out there today. His descriptions kept me interested without giving so much information that it bogged me down.
As mentioned before, his characters all have distinct personalities of their own. I enjoyed most of their quirks, though some of them pushed the edges of believability at times. After all, who really talks to themselves out loud that much? But there was never really a character that I was unhappy to hear more about, and that's a good thing.
The overall plot of the story is detailed and interesting, blending elements of Sci-Fi and Fantasy--but make no mistake, this is a Sci-Fi through and through.
The story ended too soon! (good thing? bad thing?) What I mean is I felt like there were a few loose ends left to tie up. I suppose I know who the titular Star Child is, or maybe I don't. It seems that whatever the title refers to will become known in the future. There will be another installment coming very soon which I'm sure will clear up a lot of questions I have about this or that. But for now, the title is a bit confusing.
On to the part I don't really want to talk about. The editing. This story would have benefited greatly by a run past an experienced copy-editor. There are a few places with misuse of words (the typo kind), and the entire second chapter had a bizarre formatting glitch where every period was replaced by a comma. (Sorta like one long comma-spliced sentence) Sentences could have been trimmed a little bit tighter throughout the book, just to give it a little more pop. But none of it would stop me from reading the next book in the series. Steller's confidence in his subject matter is apparent.
So is it recommended? It wouldn't be here if it wasn't. The story is good enough to pull you page-to-page. So give it a chance, will ya?