This book follows Velocity Weapon, which you should read before reading this. In the far future, humanity has spread through space with the help of gates that allow instantaneous travel between star systems. The company that developed the gate technology has before the effective interstellar government, and they go to great lengths to safeguard their monopoly, keeping their technology secret and preventing any FTL research.
In the first book, we followed an attempt by the planet Icarus to break away from the monopoly. On the sides, we saw a petty criminal stumble onto what appears to be a huge secret. In this book, these strands are brought together. The background of gate development, as well as recent events is explained. The different characters meet and develop a common plan. The parts of the plot that frustrated me in the first book, since I didn’t understand them, are made clear. The characters become more compelling and relatable as their backgrounds are revealed. This is the rare second book that actually makes the first book better.