The main characters are semi-willing colonists, left poorly-supplied on a nearly uninhabitable moon by vicious shipmates. (Those villians are more credible than most irreparably evil villains: they are themselves the result of a generation or two of bad faith, bad decisions, and bizarre material circumstances.) Their society is mostly made up of clones, which has both technological and social effects. The main character is solitary, which helps drive the plot; it would have been interesting to see clones, less like us, as the main actor, but it is already a long book.
So wrote clew in