Finally, Corey is moving things along at a quicker pace. They take almost no time to set up the new characters and place them at the far reaches of the solar system where the bizarre contraption from Venus has moved. And then they create another bonkers scenario - which does end up clarifying a great number of things across the story arc - that moves at an ever faster pace to conclusion.
Of course, overall, Corey publishes a book a year, and that has to be a factor of being a writing duo instead of a single writer. Naturally, you can write twice as fast (for the most part). Also, I imagine - based on how this book follows the same structure as the previous books - that each writer takes two characters, drafts that half of the book from their perspectives, and then they marry them together in the end. That's likely a simplistic view of how a writing duo works! Setting the arc, the plot of each book, the tone, etc. obviously takes time working closely together.
Regardless, I expect some readers will be deeply disappointed by the reveals in this book, mostly because they don't reveal hugely unique ideas. To them I say: this is space opera! In the end, all space opera has one common theme - multiple cultures vying for power across the galaxy and/or universe. This book simply pushes Corey's agenda further in that direction.