This was the 2nd book I've read by Maureen McHugh, although it is her first.
I have to admit, I preferred "Mission Child" - but this was pretty good as well. McHugh is an excellent writer, with a real gift for creating vivid, complex and believable characters.
However, I felt the structure of this book was slightly awkward - the main plot follows Zhang, an American of half-Chinese heritage, in a near-future where China has become the dominant world power.
Every so often, the story goes on a tangent, exploring the lives of people that come into contact with Zhang - a settler on Mars that he tutors, athletes involved in a dangerous sport (cybernetic hang-gliding, basically), and a girl that he reluctantly takes out on a few dates.
Each of these scenarios remarkably quickly comes to life - but remains tangential to the plot. Each dilemma faced by these sub-plot characters is only partially resolved. Much like real life - and I believe it was intentional on the writer's part - but it's still somewhat frustrating.
The book also has a tendency to, every so often, "jump ahead" a few years - so, although we see Zhang's growth from irresponsible young man to well-respected engineer, it seem to occur in a jerky, slightly disorienting rhythm rather than a flow...
Regardless of these small things, I'd highly recommend the book - it's a pleasure to read, and deeply insightful of human nature, with a thought-provoking look at a possible near-future...
an interesting view of the future where the Chinese are the most powerful group.