This is the fifth Clarke book I've read in as many years and I'm still waiting for the one that's going to blow my mind. This one didn't do that but it's my favourite since the first one I read: [b:A Fall of Moondust|149059|A Fall of Moondust|Arthur C. Clarke|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1302382681s/149059.jpg|1397287].
This one deals with alien contact but this time aliens arrive only to become our benign overlords, eliminating war, poverty and suffering, although they've also put a halt to mankind's space exploration. Who they are and why they have done this is revealed gradually throughout the book.
Important themes include parapsychology and religion; Clarke is keen to rationalise these phenomena in a new way, bringing many different strands together to provide a vehicle for the metamorphosis that occurs at the end of the story.
There are big ideas presented here and Clarke doesn't let the narrative get bogged down in the nitty-gritty technicalities that sometimes happens in his other books (and other works of hard-SF). A good, solid piece of SF although still, for me, lacking the "wow" factor that I was hoping for.