Look, I don't enjoy writing bad reviews, so I apologize in advance if this steps all over someone's feelings. I just...have feelings of my own.
If you took a concept from Iain Banks and then had Ernest Cline write it while he was drunk and sleep deprived this is probably what you would get. This book is so poorly written I wanted to throw it across the room on several occasions. It's never a good sign when you start yelling, "NO!" at the page because of shoddy writing craft. That said, this book does move along at a decent clip once you get off world, so I will concede it was a quick read.
Perhaps most damning is that Bob is pretty intolerable, and boy howdy is there a lot of Bob in here. Bob is the sort of character that thinks he's super clever (he's not) and everyone else is an idiot (they aren't), and he finds his own immaturity oh so charming (it isn't). He reminds me of every nerdy guy who has ever started of a sentence with, "Well actually..." before mansplaining some pop culture reference to me. Screw you, Bob. *deep breath*
So why two stars instead of one? Honestly I enjoyed some of the concepts in here and the space opera was fun. There are story elements in here I found enjoyable. I love the idea of reading about sentient Von Neumann probes, I just wish Banks had written it instead. There will be people who will love this one. I was not one of them.