This is a stand alone. The story is set one hundred years in the future. Global warming, economic meltdown and nation state changes have reshaped the world. A lowly astronomer and a shuttle pilot change the way the universe is seen with snowballing resources and relationships.
Dangers in space are only exacerbated by earth bound politics. Modesitt does a nice job projecting current political and economic problems to a seemingly logical place in the future.
Alayna is the resident scientist, mechanic and janitor at COFAR a astronomy array on the moon. With a struggling world economy she hopes she can publish something that will enable her to be employable once she finishes her tour of duty. She makes a discovery that will impact her professional life, the world and her personal life.
Chris, a FusEx jockey, is disappointed in a career that seems to have stagnated as a glorified taxi driver rather than the stalwart and intrepid space explorer he had hoped to be.
Modesitt always seems to have a relationship story as a side bar to his plots. It makes them more believable. Modesitt may be a frustrated philosopher as his books always seem to have some philosophic musings.
This was a good story and I recommend it.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.