Space exploration was revived, resulting in a first contact, which eventually introduced Humans to three other diverse types of intelligent beings who allowed Humanity to join their Confederation and accompany them on their exploration of other worlds.
A new world is discovered. Unfortunately, the intelligence of one of its creature races was not discovered until after the death of one of them and the abduction and death of another. The reason was simple, unlike the Confederations four races, these creatures did not speak vocally, nor were they telepathic, they communicated in a completely different way.
As well as creating a believable future Earth and four non-human extra-terrestrial
races, the author cleverly explains how to surmise a language from a previously unknown form of non-verbal communication.
Although the story involves all five races, the emphasis is on the discovery of intelligence, the building/understanding of a new language and the return journey to the newly discovered world (including a romance between two scientists who are polar opposites in every respect).
This book enticingly paves the way for the next book in what promises to be a fascinating series.