Another in the Leary-Mundy series, Drake's homage to Aubrey and Maturin. This time the RCN shunts Daniel and Adele off to a galactic backwater to stop the invasion of one banana planet by another. The most surprising thing about the book was the appearance of an intelligent reptilian alien. As far as I can recall, this is the first time aliens have even been mentioned in the books. More surprising is that no one in the book really even comments upon the fact that he's an alien, nor treats him as anything but an equal, especially given the number of times the human citizens of non-Cinnabarian planets are referred to as wogs by many of the characters. Drake never even mentions what his species is, or what planet he comes from. Very odd. Odder still is that when last we see him, he's headed off on a date with Adele's bodyguard, Tovera, with hints of potential lizardman on sociopath action.
There are a couple of the things I like about the series compared to the Honorverse. First, point of view is limited just to Daniel and Adele, which keeps things simple. The downside of this is that we get lots of Adele being introspective about her family's deaths and her friendship with Daniel, and it get repetitive. The upside is that Daniel is almost never introspective. Second, the size of both the ships and the fleets are small, so when combat does occur it's rather limited in scope. Drake doesn't keep ramping up the technology as Weber does, either, so the stories never drift over into technothriller territiory as the Honorverse books do.
I'm currently reading Ken MacLeod's Learning the World, and I'm running into difficulty. It's a first contact novel told from the points of view of both sides, and while I'm enjoying the alien side of the story, so far the humans are leaving me flat. The sides alternate chapters, and I almost want to just skip the human chapters to see how the aliens make out.