Science fiction has long been rooted in incorporating "what is" into a backdrop of "what if." This is where Renna Olsen's Hunters of Gaia excels. As much as humanity has progressed technologically, we have remained the same behaviorally. The same passions, motivations, and political goals still shape our actions in Olsen's saga of an Earth rendered inaccessible by an intelligence of humanity's own making. As galactic colonies and corporations mimic today's struggle between states and multinational businesses, Olsen still manages to portray the impact and struggles of individuals simply looking to follow their own agenda.
The interplay between history as a product of market and political forces and history as shaped by select individuals is a constant theme in the novel; and the shift between personal struggles seen at the ground level counterbalanced with events seen on a macro scale is deftly done by the author. In the author's creation of a world brilliant in its complexity, readers may find it hard to root for just one faction or individual, but find it very easy to simply read on and watch events unfold.