I had rather enjoyed the previous books in the series which I felt were fast-paced, entertaining examples of the light space opera genre. Unfortunately, I found the entire first three quarters of this book to be very different in pace and plotting to the rest of the series so far. I felt that this book delved into painfully prolonged monologues describing, among other issues, the protagonist's damaged psyche, the author's views on the dangers to society of socialism and liberalism (compared to the benefits of enlightened feudalism), and the nature of religious fundamentalism. While I enjoyed the perspectives of other factions that were presented, I felt that the combination of numerous prolonged explanatory passages in the early part of this single book unfortunately slowed the pace to a sometimes painful level. I was tempted to fast-forward at times... Hopefully the subsequent books revert back to the fast-paced action that I feel the author does very well.
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