I read this a long time ago. It was a little different from most space operas in that there really wasn't much warfare; rather, there were two species trying to avoid war, while holding irreconcilable viewpoints. Humans have gone into space doing what they do on Earth: reshaping (and sometimes destroying) the environment to suit their needs. The aliens, the Tampies, are one-with-nature types who view human terraforming as abhorent. Neither race is evil, neither race is wrong, but their two worldviews are inimicable to each other, so it's an interesting conflict that doesn't get resolved by a big space battle.