Speaking here as a working pro in this particular subset of F&SF, if there is anybody currently writing better space opera than Hamilton, I haven't come across 'em. This is the Lord of the Rings of space opera.
This is a big, dense, well-realized work, starting with a cop and a murder mystery, and riding madly off in all directions. There are multiple viewpoint characters, each with his or her own problems to solve against the backdrop of the big overall problem, and it's not just an e-ticket ride, it's a whole theme park of e-ticket rides, 951 pages worth.
Might want to think about getting the epub version, this is a toe-breaker if you drop it on your foot.
You won't finish this epic in a single session. Took me all week, and the last bit kept me up until 2 a.m. frantically turning the pages ...
Hamilton throws away more stuff than most of us use when we break out the rockets and ray guns, and this is a lush, finely-detailed universe, chock full of interesting settings, wonderful tech-talk, and fascinating characters. One of his female leads is the most intriguing woman I've seen in science fiction in a long time, and she makes Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor character in T2 seem like a wimp.
The story is told in parallels, jumping from character to character, with flashbacks to show who they were and how they got where they are. We have cops, secret ops, soldiers, captains of industry, clones (sorta), religious zealots, and–maybe–an alien murderer. Hamilton keeps readers guessing as to what is really going on and it's a hoot. Really.
Everybody has a checkered past, and they are all linked into the story in ways that aren't obvious at first glance but become head-slapping, Oh, Jeez! moments when you get to them. Pay attention because the clues are there.
Best SF novel I've read in a long while, should be a shoo-in for the Nebula and Hugo, and it would be a great HBO series, ala Game of Thrones.