The Engines of God (The Academy #1)
Solid and engaging SF. One of the things I respected about this book is that it shows the future as a messy place. Sure, they have FTL travel and communications but everything is not hunky-dory at home. Earth is a messed up place that seems only to be getting worse, science is still operating on a shoestring budget, the military/government is still stepping on peoples toes and the universe is a big scary place.
Spanning 5 separate planets, this tale is good (generally what I have come to expect from Jack McDevitt). We have the stars but they are a fairly lonely place. Only one alive race has been found (the are technologically around the WWI level), another never got off their planet and died out and a third was engaged in a game of clue, placing structures near all three races (they left a statue near us an weirdly empty city on a moon of another race).
The main characters are mostly archaeologists, who only seem to have exciting jobs in the stories that are written (like Indiana Jones) who are trying to put all the pieces together. There is action scenes scattered all around story as well as high tech action. I am really looking forward to the next book!