I finished this a few days ago, and I'm glad I allowed myself to be "peer-pressured" into reading it. It is as good, maybe a bit better than Flashforward.
I too was a little bothered by the fact that the men in powerful positions could just snap their fingers and attractive women would be doing whatever they wanted. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think it happens all that much (at least in the US) now, much less in the future when we're even more conservative and liability-concious.
The plot, I really liked, and especially the idea of the Verdant Drive when compared to the warp drives prevelant in other sci-fi. I didn't read through all the author's comments in the end, but it was evident that it was backed up by some research. I think he did a good job telling the reader just enough theory to make it believable, without going into enough detail to make it boring.
I found it a bit hard to swallow that Calvin's wife was willing to leave both him AND their daughter just to go back to earth. (even if Earth was pristine, no mother would be willing to abandon BOTH of them like that) The fact that she had proof that Earth was all messed up due to global warming made it even less believable. Maybe I just didn't understand her enough...
As far as endings, I don't like the sudden, dramatic endings. This ending was a bit sudden, but he didn't just leave us hanging like many other authors do. (either to promote sequels or for dramatic effect)He took the time to write a couple short chapters to wrap it up properly and let us know how everything was going to turn out.
I give the book a 8.5/10.
I started The Trial now and am over 1/3 of the way through it. I'm still waiting for a plot to develop and for K. to stop being an arrogant jerk. I'm losing patience quickly. Good thing it is not too long, hehehe.