This book was a lot more of a sequel to Old Man's War
than The Ghost Brigades
was, but thankfully once again the author defies convention by making the setting completely different than the last two books. The universe is established, and by now we're somewhat familiar with the technologies, cultures, and traditions; and that gives room to make things get interesting. More authors should do it this way!
And wow, the way John Scalzi
keeps you guessing makes it easy to imagine yourself in the main character's shoes -- he's starting to question what he's been told by 'the government', as you are questioning what the author has chosen to reveal or not. Yes, the universe is a hostile place, we learned that in the first book. But calling your colony Roanoke is just asking for trouble.
I put down the book halfway through because I was mad about a certain decision by the human Colonial government. I wanted them to join the Conclave! But I kept reading after a day or two, and the eventual result was better.
It's refreshing to see the author say he's done with these characters for now. It's much better than writing sequel after sequel and using up all the good ideas until the only thing good is the characters are familiar. But I gotta admit, after the quality of these first three books, I look forward to reading anything he writes, and hope for another book set in that universe someday.