No spoilers, no spoiler warning.
I'm not sure whether it was intended, but the character I identified with most in this book was Gourami the ranid. Se was the most moral and had the most recognisable journey in the whole story. I loved that se (the term used by the book) was unsexed both by declaration in the book but also in characterization. I didn't feel a gender vibe at all.
I had some issues with the book, mainly that I wanted more
: more information and interaction between the characters, more backstory on the ranids and the potentiality fork ranids, more concrete information on the how-tos of conjuring.
But these are just quibbles. Because the book filled me with glee.
Glee for quantum mechanics. Seriously, that branch of physics makes me want to jump about and giggle at the absurdity of reality, the weirdness served up to us by the universe. Bear herself posted
about an effect called "the quantum eraser" (I'm giggling again) which I memmed just for the glee value, so I could look at it whenever I wanted and be happy again. The IM conversation she copied into the post also makes me happy. I love things that make my brain stretch and tickle.
To go off in another popcorning direction - the cover art on the paperback is beautiful. I'd hang it if I had a place for it.