This book continues the story of Beggars in Spain, where a few humans have been engineered to no longer need sleep, and these Sleepless change society in many ways, for both good and ill. This book deals with the consequences of the actions of the Sleepless, but they play a surprisingly small role in the main story action.
This book is really about what it means to be human. Quite a few things have changed because of the intervention of the Sleepless, and society on Earth is reeling a bit. Add in a virus that makes people fear change, and you have quite a bit of soul searching about how humanity can adapt to change.
I read Beggars in Spain quite a while ago, which is a shame, because I lost quite a bit of the world building detail, and didn’t have any much detail on recall for some of the past characters that had bearing on the current story. Definite note to self: when reading heavily world built books, if you have the sequel on hand, read it as soon as possible. I definitely sat on this one too long.