I, for one, sort of liked the short chapters. I was very busy and on the road a lot while I was reading this one and the short chapters were great as far as being able to take it in in small chunks when the need arised. For some reason, smaller chunks always get me through books faster.
Some issues and points of interest I have with the books:
In the first book, Westerfield mentions Home's sister world. I believe it was called Shame. Why? I kept expecting that to tie back into the secret or something, but it was never mentioned again. That bothered me. It seemed very compelling to me that it would be called Shame for some reason. (though I may just be completely misremembering the name.)
He actually uses the word "sluff" at one point. I have only ever seen it as "slough." Apparently "sluff" is an acceptable spelling, though.
The Symbiant is never explained. How does it work? How did the emporer discover it? Why is it that the things contained in the secret are happening?
SPOILER FOR KILLING OF WORLDS:
Why is it that everyone else who has the symbiant is dying in roughly 500 years subjective but the emporer is still alive after 1,600? Is he traveling that much so that he's still below 500 subjective?
I did find the action sequence at the beginning of Killing of Worlds to be way, way too long for my tastes. It seemed like he went from one thing to the next to the next. I don't know why the people didn't just fall asleep where they were standing or have the Lynx just fall apart around them. Seemed a little overdone. And i wonder if that was how it was written in the first place or if TOR had him expand the "action sequence" at the beginning from something short up to the 150 pages or whatever it was by the end.
Also, something felt a little awkward about the acceleration of the pace of the novels by the end. Everything seemed to take place in a very short period of time up until the last section of the second book. Then, all of a sudden, months are going by without a mention. We're in the middle of things and find out that they've trained people for a month and then set off for some stretch of time.
I have to say that he did surprise me a little. After reading everything that had happened so far, I thought he would be shallow enough to perhaps turn the ship's singularity into some sort of missile weapon to be fired at Alexander to wipe it out, especially when the orders started to fly to light the thing up. It was at least interesting that he didn't ultimately go down that road.
All for now.