Having had the privilege of reading the first 'final draft' of this story, I was already impressed... and it doesn't take much to see that the current plot is radically different from the one I first encountered, yet still quite amazing. For dedicated sci-fi and fantasy readers, the tell-tale signs of a novice author are indeed there, but once you accept that and let go of it, the story draws you in easily and keeps you willingly there.
The plot was an ambitious one, broad in scope and dual in nature... not only do you have the long-range troubles of the Narian twins in orbit - one who has become emotionally attached to the short-lived humans they are monitoring, and the other who has indulged himself in unauthorised genetic experiments - but you also have the myriad dramas, intrigues and emotional interplays between the human population on the planet's surface. All are told in an interleaved, roughly time-synchronous 3rd person narrative style that enables the reader to stand back and observe from 'outside' while still enabling an emotional connection to the characters themselves.
Though some of the characters start out thin and flimsy, they reveal the details of their lives, and thus their relevance to the story, in a gradual fashion that leaves them always somewhat of a tantalising mystery yet never too weak to support their part. This is pretty good technique for a novice author, and I applaud Ms. Pragg for achieving this so smoothly.
Overall, a fun tale, and a good first story in the trilogy to be.