Set your headings for space opera - A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is much more interested in people than tech, and it's more interested in their development and feelings than political or military shenanigans. It's not remotely Literary with a capital L; it's sticky and fuzzy and given to wrapping its observations about humanity in jokes made by aliens. In acknowledging and exalting emotion, it's at the Firefly end of SF, but with pacifist engineers rather than smugglers. And you know what? There aren't enough books about pacifists or engineers - let alone ones where they basically get on with being pacifists and engineers rather than being pulled out of their comfort zone and dropped into the middle of some galaxy-spanning conspiracy.
I loved it. It wasn't a long slow dive of appreciation so much as a belly flop in the deep end and a book-long wallow in delight.
More thoughts (and read-along comments) on my blog
But just read it. Honestly. It's awesome.