It's sad to me when the best part of a book is when old characters that you knew put in a cameo appearance. Fall with Honor was a let down to me because Val seems to just going through the motions. There is an interesting mission and there could be interesting characters, but the writing feels like Knight has gotten bored with writing about this subject and doesn't really give it his best.
Book 7 and Val is taking part in an effort to start another area of human control in a Kurian zone. He's worn down, tired, broken to a greater or lesser degree, but for some reason none of that really matters because he is still Val. The folks who surround him seem to be just different iterations of many similar characters that we fought, served with and hated before. It's frustrating because there is so much more to be told about this series.
What really bothers me is that with a little more work and design there is a lot of very interesting things that could be happening. The potential is really great in that Knight has left enough loose ends out there for some great stuff to come of it. I just wish that he would get as deeply involved as it felt like he was in the past.