I really loved McAuley's Confluence series, but then read a couple of other books by him that I didn't really care for that much. However, this story is a winner. Definitely recommended for any fans of Paolo Bacigalupi's 'Shipbreaker' - it has that same setting of young people trying to make it and get ahead in a rough, climate-change-decimated future. However - this story also has aliens. And it's great.