Another Jack McDevitt book. I know I said I would stay away for a while, but there it was on the new arrivals shelf at the library, looking so appealing. Not to mention the fact that I was at the library with my kids, so I couldn't go looking elsewhere.
This one followed the development of a new type of space drive, the steps it took to get it functioning and the cool things they find on the maiden voyage. I liked the way he thinks about what happens with an advanced society when they start to loose their drive to explore and do new things. Would a culture really turn in on itself like he shows the Earth culture beginning to do in this book? Of course Asimov also suggested that technology could lead to stagnation in his Robot books. I think it depends on what aspect of human nature you think will become more dominant as time passes.
Though I liked this book I felt it short-changed some things. The last half is exploration. They discover all sorts of cool new things, but only mark them for interest and investigation later. They also leave a huge mystery unresolved at the end. It felt very unsatisfying, even irritating.
Cauldron. Jack McDevitt. Berkeley. 2007