I am really enjoying this series because there is biology left and right; you can’t read these books without picking up some understanding of ecology and the possibilities and dangers inherent in colonizing the galaxy. Alex is intensely uncomfortable around Marial because she can read body language and facial expressions so well as to be nearly psychic. Karen provides a bridge and a buffer for the poor man. She also hints that perhaps there is some sexual tension between the two. I am happy to say that nothing comes out of that, one of the reasons being Marial is 14 and Alex has a son 2 years older than her, making him, conservatively, in his mid-30s. Despite that one little jaunt down WTF Lane, this story is an excellent read. The women are key players, independent, get to handle the weapons, save the men as often as they get saved by the men or each other.
Each mission is in a unique world with it’s own ecological issues the humans have to acclimatize too, plus any human-made political problems. Book 2 wasn’t simply a rerun of Book 1 on a different planet. No, something strange, unique, and other-worldly truly happened on Dendra to the missing colonial descendants. A worthy and exciting series.