This is another one of those SF books that is written by a scientist, for scientists. Like Fred Hoyle's [b:The Black Cloud|358838|The Black Cloud|Fred Hoyle|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513-oB%2ByQxL._SL75_.jpg|1398552], it is the scientists and engineers who are the calling the shots and saving the day. Unlike "The Black Cloud" however, there is very little to interest the reader who isn't a scientist, doesn't enjoy following through scientific reasoning and working through technical problems.
As the Mesklinites have to traverse their way halfway across their planet, from the equatorial region that has very similar levels of gravity to Earth, to one of the polar regions at which one will experience gravity at something like 600 times that of Earth, they encounter different sorts of problems in which the human scientists help and advise them.
The characters are flat, the plot is dull, the narrative style dated and stale. Many times throughout I considered throwing it down but stuck with it since it is not too long at 200 pages. It was an interesting premise but could have been handled so much better by someone who could actually write fiction. I certainly don't intend to read anything else by this author.