This is the interesting story of an engineer early int he space fleet, before the existance was open to public knowledge. I found it very worthwhile.
Sex is more-or-less not there. Occasionally, things as presented here conflict with existing stories (there are so many stories, some of which aren't even close to cannon, this was inevitable). Rarely a cheerful tale.
Very interesting. Often explains where cannon comes from. Main character is likeable and relatable. Interaction with early AIs is fascinating.
The Last Call:
If you have an interest in the Swarm Cycle, this is now on your "Must Read" list.