It turns out that I don't really care if something is incredibly predictable and displays an overly simplistic view of politics, as long as I like the participants and think they are basically good human beings. Jack returns home with two living (but heavily sedated) Kicks, their enormous ship (which seems to be haunted), a bunch of Dancers and their ships. There's a detour through a bunch of traps that almost snaps shut on them, but Jack decides to hand all the intelligence briefings over to a green-haired engineer with superior pattern matching skills and she saves the day by figuring out the Really Bad Thing just in time.
They get home, and by this point, Alliance politicians are not longer actually that scary, but starting to seem like unusually argumentative paper dolls. The Dancers want to go to Kansas, so Geary, Desjani, assorted others on the Dauntless, go Home, where they encounter a Very Silly Occupying Force. (Fins!)
It is not actually a spoiler, if you have any brains at all, to tell you that the two Kicks die. I mean, duh. The image Dr. Nasr paints for Jack is very, very cartoonish. I sort of liked that he brought coffee to that meeting -- it's the kind of thing that would stereotypically involve alcohol.
It's comic-book fun, if you like that kind of thing, and apparently I do, at least when the right author is producing it.