The Stark Divide is a space opera on the level of David Brin’s Heart of the Comet in this first book of J. Scott Coatsworth’s Liminal Sky: The Ariadne Cycle series.
The world building is phenomenal. Living ships created to travel the stars with sustainable resources are the center of the story. Colin McAvery is the common thread throughout this book, and he is a compelling character who propels many of the events.
Coatsworth has assembled a cast of characters- human and AI- who leap from the page and make you care for them.
The story is told in a series of vignettes with significant time passage in between each section. We meet McAvery first as the captain of the ship towing the “seed” of the ship which, once planted on an asteroid, will grow and become a self-sustaining, life supporting entity, like an artificial planetoid. But the artificial intelligence destined for this seed grows far beyond anything dreamed of by its creators.
This living ship and others like it will become the last hope of the survivors of a war-torn planet Earth. The rest of the series is just as good. Read this book!