Triplanetary is the first in the Lensman series. EE Smith was the father of the sub-genre 'space opera'. So says the cover.
I really enjoyed the big sweeping operatic take - the stroll through human history up to present day, and shooting past to the future when humans have populated at least the solar system. There are 2 far advanced alien races, each meddling with humans throughout our history - one benignly and another negatively.
We make it to space and encounter a fish alien race that is more advanced in some ways. The space opera continues.
Very few female characters and the main lady, Cleo, is the love interest of our hero - Conway Spud Costigan. Most of the time it was OK. But sometimes I was really pissed off by the male ego. Ex. the human space craft is being boarded by aliens. They are being slaughtered. But Costigan refuses to give Cleo a gun as she might get nervous and fire it off at the wrong time. Needless to say, they are captured.
I have to admit that I got kind of turned off by things like this after a time.