Progeny of Vale - the war has begun.
Book one of The Circuit series, Executor Rising, did a good job of setting the stage for the rest of the story. The main characters are all established, their backgrounds and motivations are mostly clear, and the state of the solar system is such that the impending conflict will have dire consequences depending on how it all turns out. However, none of the factions can be classified as the good guys in this story so I do not find myself emotionally invested in any particular outcome, or character. Normally that is an issue for me, but in this case I found myself eager to know how it turns out anyway.
Ex-Tribune Cassius Vale started this war by killing thousands of innocent people, yet I sometimes find myself rooting for him to be successful because he seems to be the only one trying to make things better. His android creation ADIM also has a charming innocence to him, that is when he isn't slaughtering people to carry out the will of his creator. Sometimes I root for Talon Rayne, who is dying from a disease known as the Blue Death, as he does whatever he can to give his daughter a future before he dies, but that usually involves killing people as well. Of course Executor Sage Volus could be worth rooting for if she would turn her back on her religious zealot commanders, but instead at critical moments she chooses to remain loyal and even more people die. Being the middle book of the series little is resolved through all these deaths but it is building to a big finish in the next book.
This isn't the first series I have enjoyed that is carried more by the story arc than the characters, but I find it odd this time because I could find a number of reasons for me not to like the story arc. There is not a lot of science in this sci-fi story and it would be easy to get tweaked by that fact, but for some reason I am just going along for the ride.
The audiobook version is once again read by Jefferson Mays and he does his usual excellent work at the mic.