The story is exciting, compelling and fascinating. There are many books that I would recommend you read without first reading a synopsis. Just trust me. It's worth your time. This is one such book. The science is believable, the aliens and space battles and technology aren't so far-fetched that the sci-fi-ness takes over the story and distracts you by making you realize that you're reading Science Fiction. Which, as we all know, only nerds do, right? Riiiiiight....
Science and technology in the real world have a way of catching up with Science Fiction, and it's very entertaining to read about the students' "desks" which are very much like laptops or iPads, and about people publishing articles and debates on the "nets", even though the internet as we know it now was decades away, and no one had technology that did what the "desks" do in this book. Awesome.
And now, the movie is coming November 1. The trailer looks good, the special effects (or is it all just CGI, now?) look amazing. I hope that the things they change serve to improve the story and that they don't have to change too much of what makes this story work.
If you haven't read this one yet, get to it. Soon. It's a good first sci-fi book, I think. I'm not a big fan of sci-fi, but I will return to this book again.
And, interestingly, last time I read it, I felt "done". I didn't go on to read any sequels. But this time... I just might.