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I was a little on the fence with the first book in this series, which I felt started off somewhat weak and contrived. This book dispelled those doubts completely, and the stride Mr. Underwood hit midway through the first book has carried through this one in a big way.
I like Mary Robinette's voice work on this one much better too. Particularly
the scene with the alien courtesans, which had me busting out laughing. Something about her "seductive dancing boy" voice was just hilarious!
My only complaint is that the author violates a rule of writing: if a character has a more interesting backstory than this one, you should be writing that story instead. Michael should have made Roman the viewpoint character of this series from the start, as he's easily the most interesting member of the cast. This book does shift to Roman more; I hope that's a trend that continues.