Oh, and SPOILERS! Seriously.
There were moments in this book -- lots of them -- where I sincerely felt like I was reading someone attempt to write an E.E. "Doc" Smith novel. And there were other moments where I felt like I was reading a Jack Campbell novel (fewer of those, and mostly just because there are references to Jack Campbell/Dauntless -- but not Black Jack, so they really do seem to be just in-jokes). It felt less like a Kris Longknife novel than any of the others, which is not actually that bad of a thing.
I am not _certain_ I have ever been this disappointed by sex scenes before. I've certainly been _way_ more pissed off by sex scenes (that were badly written, unrealistic, horribly sexist, irresponsible, wtf), but I didn't have any specific issues with these scenes (well, beyond the usual: hey, implantables, because there are no STDs, just the risk of pregnancy -- guys, seriously, your golden age of post-pill pre-AIDS is not coming back. Ever. Also, only a 96% efficacy rate? Wow. I would _hope_ we could do better than that so far into the future. Oh, wait. We already do.). But these were just very _meh_. I mean, if you are going to involve computers you can talk to in your head, I'd be using them for more than keeping time on the massage length. Seriously.
Reinforcements arrive, twice, at Alwa. Kris uses them to accomplish worthy goals. She brings the tech level of the human colony up. She establishes system defenses. And she retrieves Phil Taussig's remaining crew and what's left of his ship. At the end of the book, a mother ship shows up and Kris destroys it with Hellburners. While this is happening, watcher ships that are recognizably from other, let's call them swarms, are hanging out at the jump to watch what happens, so we can expect future battles, maybe a _really big one_ if multiple mother ships team up to pick on Kris all at the same time.
Great-grandma Rita sends Kris and Jack off to get to know each other a lot better, then sets up a wedding. Again, incredibly annoying to have these highly limited traditions exported to such a distant time and place, but you know, whatever. Right down to who is getting married next.
Kudos to Shepherd for bothering to actually _develop_ the relationship between Kris and Jack and not just have it be mostly un-acted upon sexual tension. And it's both rare and pretty awesome to have mil sf tackle the nonsensical nature of no-sex-on-the-boat rules.
I'll keep reading.