I read this with no expectations. It's an easy read. There are lots of planets and lots of characters. It was fun. But when I finish it was more of a "Huh", than a "Wow."
So I went to Goodreads and checked out the reviews. The criticisms amazed me. People are writing about the lack of plot twists and overused tropes. I guess the average reviewer is more erudite than I realized.
That made me think about the book to see if I could find what made it feel less than spectacular.
There were several reviews that said the characters were one-dimensional. And there are a lot of view point characters. I can't say that any of them really got to me. There is so much going on with all of them. We only get to visit for a short period of time. I think I would prefer to stay with less of them for longer periods of time. And also, there's my dislike of spending too much time with the villains. I could have happily skipped those chapters.
Some reviews complained that the story stole too many story lines from other epic adventures. Well, in my opinion that's what space opera is. They all have a similar formula. Although I can't say I saw a reluctant messiah in this one. There's big evil controlling the masses and small rebellion struggling for the people. Yup - that's epic Scifi.
Maybe they wanted more space battles. There's only one in this story, which was enough for me. I know the next book will have more because the first book ended on the verge of war. I can only hope it's not all battles. The characters and situations intrigued me enough that I will give book 2 a chance, whenever it comes out.