Two of my favourite science authors collaborating. I had very high expectations that unfortunately haven't been met.
Premises are good but the development of the plot follows a very predictable path plus some quite far fetched assumptions. For example, people cannot stand darkness like they have never experienced being in a room in without light. I find this so unlikely, but let's presume that this is part of these aliens' psychology.
A part from that the book is just not interesting and many events are dragged along in a dull way eventually resulting a bit boring.
I don't know if the combination of two great exponents of science fiction just didn't work however I highly recommend to stay away from this novel and go for books written individually instead.
I am used to reading Asimov since my childhood. I started reading this as I've recently seen it pictured everywhere as his masterpiece. However, during the first part I have almost fallen asleep more than once. The second part of the book is the only one I am really enjoying reading, as it probably was the actual short story by Asimov himself. If that is that, I'm not sure I want to read the conclusion.
In addition, I can state without fear that the Italian translation somehow lacks in stylistic coherence even without having read the book in English yet. Professional bias ftw.