First what I loved: The world created is excellent. I loved the long history and the various people, aliens, people-aliens and creatures that populated the world. The scope of the story line is really big and epic and there is nothing I like more than a nice long story that is built brick by brick and give you enough chance to grow and change with the characters. The side characters are all great. In a way I enjoyed the side characters more than the main, but they were all rich with their own histories and motivations and I found that they really came alive and had you rooting for them...or rooting against the pretty heavily. I also enjoyed the act that none of the characters was some white knight. Even the ones you are rooting for are capable of despicable acts. All in all this was enough to keep me reading and overall enjoying the story.Now the bad:The story was way to bloated. This booked needed a good editor. There were scenes that I thought were really not necessary. I saw the the goal was to give insight into the world and people in it....but I did not need to be in every characters head and sit through pages of their inner thoughts. They could have trimmed a lot of that down. There were also many times when things were repeated. I did not think it was necessary to reintroduce characters and give us a rundown of what happened a few chapter ago in the same book. It got annoying and distracted from my enjoyment. And while I enjoyed the side characters as mentioned before..I did think there were too many of them and it bloated the book a bit.So some writing choices that kind of irked me. I also see sign of the characters become too "extraordinary" where they are some powerful that there is no suspense anymore that they will get out of a situation. That always is no fun. For some these would be enough to stop reading...but the other elements of the book mentioned kept me reading and in the end..I still enjoyed it for the good fun it was.So really it's 2 and 1/2 stars.