Chindi continues the trend of the previous two books in only vaguely being a sequel. It takes place after the previous two with one of the same characters (Hutch) and there are a few references to previous events… But that’s about it. That’s not a bad thing though.
This book starts with the discovery of an alien satellites around a neutron star. Hijinks ensue and people die (I’ll come back to that in a second). It turns out that the satellites are part of a communication network. The next large chunk of the book follows our characters from world to world chasing after this network. (More people die). They finally end up finding a truly massive alien starship and exploring that (more people die). Then there’s the climax where–just like Deepsix–our heroes have to attempt a daring / insane rescue mission so as not to leave a man behind.
On the plus side: I love the science aspects of the book. It’s really starting to come together as a world and I like how there is some thought put into consequences. FTL travel and communication are possible, but it still takes time. Artificial gravity interacts oddly with inertia. Traveling at relativistic speeds does strange things to time. I keep turning pages, wanting to know more.
On the down side: It’s getting increasingly hard to have sympathy for the characters. Over three books, there has been a fairly impressive body count. And almost all of them were avoidable. Over and over in this book, the author hangs a lampshade on the fact that what the characters are doing is dangerous. Off they go, and off someone dies. And yet other than a few token comments, no one seems to care. It’s starting to get a bit weird.
Overall (and you can see by my rating), I’m still really enjoying this series. There’s a definite sense of something building and the world growing and changing behind the scenes. And better, the epilogue of this book and the title of the next hint that we might just learn a bit more about the Omega Clouds from book 1! Looking forward to it.