I finally finished it.
I really had trouble getting into this book -- so much so that I've been trying for years to read it, up to and including trying different formats (print, e-edition, audiobook), even though it's come highly recommended, especially to fans of Peter F. Hamilton, of which I am an enthusiastic member.
I finally got into the audiobook this time, and honestly, I don't know why this doesn't click with me well, since the plot is interesting and likely to appeal to me. I think, maybe, it's that we spend so much time so far away from the plot -- like a large part of the first third to half of the book only deals with the overarching threat incidentally. I guess I had a hard time figuring out what was important and what was flavor, and an awful lot of it was flavor. Maybe it becomes more important later.
I'm probably going to keep going, now that I've gotten through it. And I'm glad I did. I just..eh.. I dunno.