Engdahl tells the story in much the same way one would tell a friend or a diary: alluding to outcomes and then going back to describe what lead up to them. It does not feel circular, repetitious, or forced. In fact, it is a delightfully pleasant read that flows along nicely with just the right amount of tension and anticipation to keep the reader's interest.
The author dwells less on the technology and shiny gadgetry of space travel and planetary colonization, and more on the human aspect thereof. This results in a very accessible story for readers who are interested in space colonization as well as readers who enjoy stories about personal growth and relationships. Science fiction is often seen as being only for boys, although that attitude is changing, and this book would likely be well received by both young men and women.