Despite the relatively languid pace, I found this to be an engaging and interesting story. At the same time exploring technological advances that have led to AI entities, allowed humanity to easily travel throughout and colonize the solar system, and to extend life and modify bodies at will, it also contemplates the nature of ourselves as humans in this future context. The further away we get from earth, can we ever depart or escape our humanity? With an extended lifetime, the ability to alter gender at will, or to add animal DNA simply so that we can purr like cats or sing like birds, how do we perceive ourselves and relate to others? How do we spend our time? And as fantastic as the terraforming technology is, we learn that it is no less exploitative than the practices we currently engage in - mining for ores, drilling for oil, be-spoiling our planet in the process. In the future of 2312 asteroids are sent to collide into planets to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere, or to change the rate of spin to make it suitable for human life. Without thought, entire moons are ripped apart for their mineral wealth. Humans flit through the system in hollowed out asteroids with designer interiors - so called 'terrariums' - that contain in some cases specific ecosystems from earth, complete with wild animals. We learn however that despite all this technological wonder and life without want, the earth is still there, as ever with its inadequately addressed problems: overpopulation, inequality, poverty, and unrest; still reeling from catastrophic climate change and mass species extinction.
Although the mystery driving the story is a little odd, it certainly gives the reader much to contemplate along the way.