There's a part of me that wants to just leave it at that.
It was a little too obvious, perhaps, that Ekaterin is being set up as Miles's new love interest, and I was a bit put off by the lack of subtlety in the picture of her bad first marriage. Tien was clearly a jerk at best, a villain at worst; it's hard to have sympathy for his mostly self-inflicted plight when the toll it took on Ekaterin and Nikki was so plain.
I do like Ekaterin, and I love how she can be strong and clever but also just normal -- not a soldier or royalty or spy, just a woman. Although a part of me still misses Elli, she will make a much better match for Miles, especially in his new life. Speaking of which, Lord Auditor Miles is going to take some getting used to, although it's nice to see him growing into the role.
The secret of the wormhole destroyer was fine, although the last couple of books have been so intense by comparison that it was harder for me to get really invested. Probably the most interesting thing about this book is the picture of a conquered world and the different ways its people have adapted to the change, or how they decide to fight. The contrast of Soudha versus Riva, I found particularly interesting. Riva is tempted by her knowledge, but you know she would never take action; Soudha is a practical revolutionary (or so he believes himself). As Miles suggested, I can't imagine Soudha rots in jail for long. The Professor and Professora (and how awesome a title is Professora?) were great, both individually and in their relationship.
So I think I would be hard-pressed to call this one of my favorites -- at this point, I would probably pick Memory, or Cetaganda, or maybe Mirror Dance -- but as the first story fully committed to the series's new direction, it does quite well.
This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/523221.html. There are currently comments on DW.