This seems to be a divisive book and I can see why. I had two problems with it: one was a matter of taste, the other was a tension and storytelling problem.
The book features a motley crew manning a spaceship. This is where the Firefly comparisons come in, and people that enjoy it seem to see the connection beyond that. And this is where the taste issue comes up, I love Firefly and its brand of humor and quirk. I did not think this book was funny and the characters that were obviously meant as comic relief just annoyed me.
Now to the storytelling problems, over and over this book introduces secrets and potential problems only to smooth them over or tie them up too quickly. And then the main drama at the end is not really tied to any of them and seemed to contradict the theme of the rest of the book. This was frustrating and I don’t really understand why the author chose to do it because all that the reader is left with is pages of lectures on alien cultures and breeding. This book had an interesting set up and the writing was fine, I just did not enjoy it. But it seems like lots of other people do.