No but really one character does swear a lot.
The sequel to The Collapsing Empire is yet another example of part 2 of a single novel. Which is an issue mainly because the first part of the book is in a sort of mid-book plot plateau. For a complete story, having a middle bit that has to spin its wheels a little while characters react to the initial action is not a bad thing. In John Scalzi’s interdependency, starships exist hyperspace flow shoots with zero momentum and are essentially stalled when they reach a new star system. Likewise the Consuming Fire is initially on impulse engines only, if not drifting in space.
There’s a lot of talking and plotting and counter-plotting that is important because this is supposed to be a world of plotting and counter-plotting. However, it feels inconsequential even at the time. Of course it is MEANT to be futile in the face of a systemic collapse of the hyperspace routes that hold the Empire together. Meanwhile, the story is plotting a new course and warming up its engines.
Don’t get me wrong, I *like* dialogue but it is a relief when the story charts a course towards a newly opened bu short lived flow shoal and heads off into some space exploration action. From this point on the novel picks up the same momentum and sparkle from the first novel. New revelations, some clever twists to the backstory and the Empereaux getting some control over her life pulls the story along to a satisfactory conclusion.
There’s plenty of set-up for the sequels but there is a definite end to this particular arc. Initially disappointed, the book finally delivers enough to make me intrigued by future stories of how the Interdependecy survives (or not).