I know that Maria V Snyder is no great literary genius, but that doesn't make her books any less enjoyable. I love a good character driven plot with plenty of action that drives me and forces me to keep reading and this is exactly what Snyder accomplishes in the second of the Yalena Zaltana series.
What really drives this book home for me is the interesting and varied issues it grapples with. From agoraphobia, sibling rivalries and psychological development, to the differences in government... of democracy versus dictatorship and communism.
And the best bit by far (as I'm sure I mentioned in my review on Poison Study) is that romantic love isn't the main focal point of the story. It is certainly a part, as it is a part in all our lives at one point or another... but it not the sun around which everything spins. And it is not based on shallow feelings of "just knowing". Instead it is a development of getting to know another person and coming to rely on them and trust them, which I think is much more interesting.
Sometimes the writing is a little rough around the edges but this is barely noticeable as the action is constant, the plot fast moving, and the characters vivid. I have high hopes for the 3rd book and can't wait to get my hands on it.