In the first book, sometimes I found myself doubting that the Firefly references were intentional because they just felt misplaced (“I am a leaf on the wind”… during a successful flight?! why would you do that to me?!). In this book, the references just… I don’t know it couldn’t be heavily inspired by Firefly, when there’s a scene in which one character wonders if “bi zui” (shut up) is the only Mandarin the captain knows. Hmmm… sounds so familiar… And if this is like Firefly, I think I know exactly what the next book is going to be like based on a tiny scrap of the summary. Two words (well, a name): Adelai Niska.
It’s not a bad thing that it’s reminiscent of Firefly, but it can be distracting. Still, it has a lot of features which aren’t like Firefly, like the Maori bruiser Apirana (who would actually prefer not to beat people up for a living). There’s sweet relationships between various members of the crew, and everything trucks along fast enough to keep me interested. It’s derivative, yeah, but it’s entertaining, and I’m along for at least one more book.