(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I thought that this book had a lot of potential, but I did feel the instances of information dumping really made it hard to enjoy the book.
To a certain extent, I did find Rike an interesting character. The background and hints of a darker nature to him made him intriguing from the start, but there was too much repeated about him. Even though his personal logs had a lot of potential to show more depth to Rike, there was too much glossed over, such as his time on the Vigilant.
It was intriguing that so many of the races in the Auran Galaxy looked humanoid, but that they all had slight differences in their appearance. It was interesting to see the theories about why that might be, but I was a bit disappointed not to see any of those theories borne out.
I wasn’t really sure what to make of Rike at times, as he seemed to keep switching between a character who had some elements of humour and one who was completely at the other end of the extreme.
While it was interesting to see the way the other races reacted to the pheromones humans apparently gave off, I was eventually rolling my eyes at all of the sex that kept occurring, especially at the most awkward times.
Towards the end of the book, there was a lot of graphic violence that, in comparison to the rest of the book, was described in a lot of detail, making for some very disturbing reading. What I liked, and would have preferred to see more of, was the glimpse of the Taur being perhaps something other than the monsters they were made out to be.
I did like the fact that the mercenaries and Rike did care about doing the right thing and it was also good to see that he could and did get hurt, despite the sheer amount of training he’d received.
While it was good to get some answers, I didn’t really feel there were nearly enough answers given… or anything that made it clear why Rike was so important and not anyone else.
I don’t think I will read the next book/s in this series; not unless the world and characters are more engaging.