I love Starfinder. I've been supporting it with subscriptions since the core rulebook came out -- but I have to admit I found Pact Worlds a bit lacking in imagination. Part of this is probably because they were dealing with legacy content (Distant Worlds already basically declared who lived where and what the worlds were like).
But with Near Space the Starfinder writing team has been able to spread their wings and go a bit crazy, and the delivered product is fantastic from end to end.
Art - 5/5, love it, each Veskarium world's description is riven with detail and great art. Seeing how Skittermanders interact with their Vesk overlords will help me to describe them in future encounters. I suspect that instead of viewing Skittermanders as cute, cuddly carebears, my players will now wonder if there are Skittermanders nearby if that means that Vesk are too. I want that art of Conqueror's Forge in a gas cloud as a wallpaper or poster.
Worldbuilding - 5/5, again, the Veskarium is just as interesting of a place as the Pact Worlds, and you could build an entire campaign here and never leave the system. The dynamics of Vesk-6 I found especially interesting, as I think the Pahtra/Vesk conflict has a lot of potential for some great plot hooks. The rest of Near Space has some fascinating locations as well, my favorite being the Dyson Sphere and the Toe Jam & Earl-like planet of Orry.
Most importantly though, I never felt like any of the write-ups of the Veskarium insulted my intelligence. The book doesn't shy away from pointing out that some Pahtras really don't like the situation on Vesk-6, or that hey, Skittermanders are in fact the Grotz/Goblins/Gretchens of the SF universe.
Mechanical Options - 5/5. I'm glad someone on the team clearly thought that not having +STR Pahtra was a missed opportunity. The Vesk, Skittermander, and other Veskarium races all equally got showered with variations as well to bring them out of their shells. Or pouches. Whatever Skitters have.
Gamemastering Mechanical Options - 3/5. This is the only place I felt was lacking a bit. I would have liked some fleshed out Veskarium NPC blocks akin to the ones provided in Pact Worlds Chapter 3 "Supporting Cast". I wouldn't have needed a whole 12 pages like Pact worlds, but I have a good idea in my head of what say, a Pact Worlds mercenary or criminal is armed with, and what an Aeon Guard infantryman is armed with. I have no idea what your average Level 3 Vesk infantry is armed with, though if I had to hazard a guess it would be a Peacekeeper's Aegis, a Doshko, and some sort of Laser weapon and 2-3 pages devoted to the Veskarium's military make-up in that respect would have been nice.
I consider almost every Starfinder splat a must-buy, but to be honest if you had to pick between Pact Worlds and this, I'd pick this. That's how good it is. Probably the best splat I've read in a good long while.
Really love everything about this book - my favorite part is that it brings a lot of Classic Pathfinder class playstyles back to the Starfinder table like Paladin & Barbarian.
The continuity error of artists depicting Kasathans with human-esque irises is driving me -insane- though. And there's a picture of a Kasathan with his mask off and his mouth open in a tavern full of people on Page 144?