Warning: Spoiler warning for David Brin’s Existence.
This book is not part of the Upliftverse, despite dolphins being uplifted. This threw me for a loop, but I guess Brin considers dolphin uplifting to be an immutable part of the universe.
I have a lot of critiques of the science and tech aspect in this book. Brin avoids them all by implying there’s an answer and then never giving it, so I cannot check to see the answer makes sense.
This is not the only cheap story telling trick in this book. The most important part of the book happens “off camera”: there’s a big conflict coming up, then there’s a time-skip, and the conflict is in the past.
However, the book does have twists. A lot of them. Good one.
Ultimately, it is an entertaining book, with good story-telling. This is also the first book where the author self-insert character is both minor and, arguably, villainish.