This book is a far future retelling of The Wild Swans, which I previously knew nothing about.
Liddi Jantzen lives in a galaxy where there's seven worlds linked by conduits so you can (as far as I can tell) teleport between them. She's the youngest member (and only girl) of a family known for their technological genius. She has 8 older brothers, but was the one left in charge of the family business when she comes of age because her brothers wouldn't fight over who's in charge if it's her. However, so far she's kind of the black sheep of the family--not for personality or gender, but because so far she doesn't seem to be the tech genius her brothers are. They have a Tech Reveal event on her home planet that she has yet to come up with anything for even though she's sixteen, so she feels kind of bad about herself for that. She also doesn't have any friends or significant others because her family gets followed around by paparazzi video camera bugs all the time and her brothers are the only people she can trust not to use her. Which is sad.
Anyway, one night Liddi goes home and finds intruders in the place sounding like they want to kidnap her, and she manages to get away. Then she finds out that ALL of her brothers have disappeared and haven't been heard from for days. She deduces that her brothers may have somehow ended up trapped in the conduit system and she's right--but when she mentions that to a family employee, it turns out that said employee was the one that trapped them there in the first place. Minali Blake can't kill or use Liddi--Liddi's got some kind of tech in her that will notify others if she dies--but Blake is convinced that sacrificing Liddi's brothers to the conduits will stabilize them, because the conduits seem to be eroding somehow. However, this will take some time. So she puts some kind of device in Liddi's throat--and if Liddi speaks, her brothers will be killed.
This is even worse than you think it sounds, because Liddi's world gave up on using writing a long time ago, everything runs off of voice recognition, and she literally can't communicate with ANYONE. (Damn, I say, damn.) However, her brothers can somehow manage to pop in and out of her vision from time to time, and they arrange for her to be transported to....Ferri (known as Ferrine to the natives), the supposed lost point of their network that they think of as an afterlife. Except it turns out that Ferrine is quite a different planet from the other seven, and the varying natives cut themselves off from the others temporarily for some reason, even though they kept up with speaking the same language just in case they decided to come back. I'm still not sure why they cut themselves off, really.
Ferrine is a weird place, and not just because as far as Liddi knew "Ferri" was some kind of heaven equivalent. Ferrine has various alien species living there, and they say that the conduits are sentient people that they call the Khua and pretty much worship. Liddi is taken in and taken care of by a nice young fellow named Tiav, who is an aelo.* Ferrine still has written language, so Tiav does his best to teach Liddi something that she has a very hard time understanding. She can't explain what's going on and why, but Tiav does get that it's dangerous. But explaining this to the adminstrators of Ferrine is straight up difficult, especially when Liddi tries to access the conduits to get to her brothers and that's pretty much religious blasphemy there. Oops. Anyway, she and Tiav manage to communicate a bit, though she can't really explain her situation too well or let anyone take the device out of her neck, just in case. They also fall in love, which makes sense in Liddi's case since this is the first guy who's known her as herself rather than the famous Liddi Jantzen. (I don't know in Tiav's case, but I guess she's cute. He's pretty much a neutrally friendly person but doesn't really stand out as a personality beyond being a friendly foreigner.)
* I don't think this was ever defined in the book. The word "dignitary" is used on the book cover. Seems to be some kind of ambassador/politician-ish role? His mother is the head of the aelos.
Anyway...Good points in the book are that the situation is compelling, and Liddi makes some good unusual allies (particularly towards the end--I won't spoil it, but she ends up getting a super awesome necklace) and ends up figuring out she's smarter than she knew she was. I was creeped out at the early reveal that Liddi had been made genetically "checked" by her parents so that she'd have to rely on her brothers, but things weren't quite like that. So yay. I'll talk a bit about the other thing I thought was cool below the spoiler cut.
Bad points are....well, I think literally every book review I saw for this said they were confused as to what was going on, and I concur with that. This setup is very hard to comprehend, picture, and understand. What's going on with the khua is very hard to comprehend. What's going on with the state of Liddi's brothers is hard to understand. I don't know who is up to following exactly what's going on here, but I fear I ended up coming up with the most comprehensive explanation and I don't think I quite get it all either. You also won't really be able to keep track of all of Liddi's brothers, but I'm not sure if that was something the author was super concerned about given the setup anyway. Suffice it to say, the reader isn't feeling their situation like the narrator is.
So...I'm going to give it three stars. Would be great if I just got what the heck was going on better.