The main character James McGill continues to rise up the ranks as he battles through galactic politics, conspiracy and bloody planet side battles. This time around, McGill's character is built a little more and as a result, can be associated to much more readily. Other characters haven't been given much of an opportunity to grow, but then, it pretty much is a McGill story. In a way, McGill is quite endearing, as he tends to bungle through nearly every situation, and still manages to come out ahead.
Solving problems and pulling off the unachievable is but par for the course. Troops being constantly regenerated and dumped back into battle, is usually an advantage to a limited force inserting itself into alien worlds; until things go sideways of course.
The book races along at a brisk pace and most scenes are well described. A lot like Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers , but easier to burn through. This one has a world filled with artificial machine life, all immersed in Darwinian survival. James' legion is attacked as soon as they land on Machine World. The troops' objective, a rich titanium mine that's crucial for space vessels. Off worlders make alliances to get a foothold in the mineral rich world, but the machines side with the wrong kind. The human group fight unwinnable battles and finally sync up with a young machine. They battle and they persevere. A uniquely thrilling read by Larson.