Moved on to David Brin's Sundiver (and thus the Uplift series), and so far this book's been doing a good job of holding my attention and throwing out some odd stuff. The concept of Uplift - species raising other species to sapience across the universe, and humanity as the only known example of a species which raises ourselves (although we've been helping chimps and dolphins) is just a really cool premise, and would be more than enough to hang a novel on - but Sundiver seems to have more going on than just that. Think I'm gonna enjoy this overall.
I'm a big Brin fan, and the Uplift series is a lot of fun with some great ideas... I actually went back and read Sundiver later on, after Startide Rising
and the next couple IIRC. I like his aliens a lot, he does a better job than most in making them seem actually alien