Startide Rising (1983) by David Brin
Pbk, Bantam, 462 p.
I got this book from Olman (see his review here) and have unfortunately been struggling to finish it for months. The difficulty in finishing the novel was only based in a small way on the book but mainly on my lack of reading these days.
The difficulty I had with the book was primarily because of the structure. Chapters are told from the perspectives of a number of the main characters, human and dolphin. Initially, when everyone is on the main ship it is hard to parse out who is who and what role they play in the crew. Towards the end of the novel though, many of the protagonists split off into different areas of the planet and the structure works well building suspense and really giving you a sense of what everyone has to do in the larger plan.
An enjoyable science fiction read.