Firstly, I put it as "average." If you want to know "bad," then I commend to your attention some works from near the end of the Bantam era, when every other novel was, well, think of a Yiddish word that rhymes with "trek." Novels like The Starless World, World Without End,
and the ever-popular Devil World.
For that matter, while I'm perhaps a bit more charitable than most where the works of Marshak and Culbreath are concerned, this opus positively shines
in comparison to their "Phoenix" novels.
Second, I definitely agree about Martin telegraphing
It wouldn't have been easy to avoid telegraphing it, but I picked up on it almost from the beginning.
Third, is it just me, or did others see an awful lot of really obvious allegory here? The two factions among the locals paralleling a good chunk of current U.S. politics, and the racial profiling being applied to Andorians?