Thanks for giving us an old review of a dead author and the second book in a series.
From November 12, 1997 …
Review: Divergence, Charles Sheffield, 1992.
With the second book of the Heritage Universe series, Sheffield kicks things into high gear. All the characters from the first book are back along with the addition of E.C. Tally, a computer brain in a human body. The book gets a fair amount of comedy out of the discrepancy between his Federation supplied databanks and real galactic affairs.
But the main drama comes from further exploration of Builder artifacts and a meeting with artifical constructs of theirs who may or may not be telling the truth about the Builders’ origins and the purpose of their artifacts. Also making an appearance are the legendary Zardalu, land-octopi thought long dead after their Empire was overthrown by their underlings.
Sheffield also throws in some inventive entries from the Universal Species Catalog for humans and aliens, major and minor.