My main reaction to this is “…bwuh?” The basic plot idea — the mysterious assignment to a mysterious planet, the mismatched and out of touch group of people who assemble there, the weirdness of the world they have to explore, all of that’s pretty cool. The problem is, the religion stuff was, at best, uninteresting to me, and at worst totally baffling. I’ve had this feeling with Dick’s novels before: people just seem to stumble around, pinging off each other, with no meeting of minds, no communion being made. That’s part of the point in this book, I think, and it’s portrayed effectively if that’s the case… but I don’t get the appeal of reading about it.
The plot around the plot is also interesting; I shouldn’t say too much about it, but the last chapter or so make a different sort of sense out of events. All in all, that aspect too is interesting, and yet gets so little time spent on it that it just feels like cleverness for the sake of cleverness. Which I have got the impression is a Philip K. Dick thing, so to each their own.
Character-wise, there is no one here you want to spend time with, so if you’re looking for character studies or sympathetic characters, etc, this isn’t really your game. There isn’t even all the information you need to judge the characters for over 90% of the book. If you’re looking for philosophical, even theological stuff that plays with reality, it might be more your thing!