Well, having finished "Killing of Worlds" now, I have to agree with the sentiment around here that this is all pretty average. It was OK, not terriblly bad, nor terribly good. I was a little disappointed when the Big Secret was revealed; I had hoped that it would be something a little more Earth-shaking. Iit seemed a little prosaic to me. And frankly, even at the end the story it still didn't fully resolve. After all,
Alexander is still out there, headed for Home, not having fulfilled his potential at all, same with Commander Zai.
It almost seemed like there should be a third book, but I don't think I would read it if there was one.
Did it seem to anyone else that the Emporer character was sorely under-developed? As really the main antagonist of the story, he didn't get a lot of face time, and almost nothing about his character was shown. That was a big oversight, I think.
BTW, I understand now about the relay station & why Alexander needed to get there. That was actually pretty cool, and it took me by surprise.
One more quibble: how many times can Zai's ship escape from certain death before it gets unbelievable & annoying? About three. Six or seven was really pushing it too far. For a little while I was almost rooting for it to finally be destroyed, just to put it out of its misery. This sort of plotting might have been OK in the serial pulp era ("Tune in next week to see how the amazing ship surives THIS attack!") but it got on my nerves a little bit once I was into the second book.