I read The Last Watch in October of 2020 and posted the review in March. I'm glad to have been able to continue this adventure with The Exiled Fleet, but now I'm waiting for book 3.
My main complaint is that I wish there had been a little reminder of some of the events in the first book. The Exiled Fleet begins in medias res, and as I've read over a hundred of books since last October, it took me a chapter or so to reorient myself. A minor complaint.
Character development continues, an important element in a series that relies on a sense of loyalty and camaraderie. Each of the characters has both strengths and concomitant flaws that keep them human--not perfect, infallible cardboard cutouts. In addition to Rake, Cavalon, and Jackin, secondary characters from the first book take on new responsibilities, and some interesting new characters are added.
The Sentinels survived the collapsing of the Divide and have rescued as many other endangered Sentinels as possible, but their situation is still dire. As they struggle for materials, food, and mechanical and technical solutions, we learn more about the characters and their backgrounds while also gaining a better understanding of their world(s) and the machinations of Augustus Mercer, his eugenic programs, and long range plans.
Plenty of action. Read in July; review scheduled for
Science fiction. Aug. 17, 2021. Print length: 432 pages.