Underwhelming. At times irritating. No depth. Ends with a cliffhanger.
I think I should start all my reviews off with partial sentences, it's way more fun. This pretty much sums it up, too. I know that Scalzi was fully aware of the cliffhanger aspect of this set of stories, and that he knows he has to finish it later. But he didn't do enough in the novel to counteract how irritating it is to be left with a cliffhanger.
Yes, he gave us new characters, and we like them. He built the world up a little bit, so that we understand more fully the problems between the Colonial Union and the Earth and the Conclave. He gave us sparkly dialogue that made us giggle and tee-hee throughout.
What he did not do is move the story in an important direction. We already knew that there were problems between those three institutions by the end of Perry's tenure in this series. And look! Now we have, um, problems. Bigger ones. So what? I want to see more of Wilson and Schmidt, sure, but I want them to do things that matter, not things that end up barely mattering at all. Especially Schmidt - he did he not develop that character at all (and I like the episode on his home planet a great deal).
I suspect I will read the next one. Scalzi knows he has us hooked on the world he's created. Don't rest on your laurels, okay?