The entire plot of the book gravitates around Man’s addiction to sapphire. Sapphire? You know, that blue stuff in rings. You know how the fate of nations (and in this case) entire worlds hang in the balance if they can’t get enough of it. No? Actually, neither had I.
The plot, as it is, is as follows: In the future, a reporter has gone to the colony on Alpha Centauri and reports there is so much sapphire there, they use it as roads (hence the title). For some reason, no one ever seems to think that maybe they should just ask what’s up with the sapphire. Instead, there’s this complicated series of events that requires the main character to go to Alpha Centauri (and this trip takes years!) just to find out – well – it’s no big deal. However, the economy of Earth has been devastated by just the mere hint that people who are years away have potentially unlimited supplies of this supremely necessary sapphire to the point where there are literally space pirates asking for sapphire in tribute.
You can’t imagine why anyone would care that much about sapphire? What could it possibly be used for besides the blue stuff in rings? I don’t know. After reading this book, I still don’t know. It doesn’t seem to factor much in the universe the author has created; it doesn’t power a weapon, it doesn’t fuel their spaceships. But it’s really important. So important, that this entire lousy book depends on it. Is it a bad thing that a book makes you want to burn it to prevent anyone else from wasting hours of their life by accidentally reading it? Please… learn from my mistake… avoid this book.