The Trilisk Supersedure, by Michael McCloskey
This is the third book in an ongoing series, self-published by the author and available on the Kindle and also for other e-book platforms via Smashwords. The first in the series was cheap n cheerful fun, but with poor characterisation and dialogue. The follow-up was an improvement, and still jolly good fun to read, and while the author had sent me a review copy for free I would have been happy to pay for it.
So what about this one? Again, McCloskey sent me a free copy, and I'd be happy to have paid for it. His people continue to improve - dialogue is more natural and characters, even minor ones, feel more solid - and he still does a fabulous job of creating alien aliens and ecosystems, and to a certain extent this is what saves this book, with some deliciously cynical back-stabbing and contingency planning on the part of the alien character who we're never sure is an antagonist or protagonist. However, I found the story a bit confusing. It wasn't clear to me what the relationships were between some of the factions that Our Heroes ran into and what they were doing there, even once I'd got to the end of the book, and at one point I almost just put the book down half finished in irritation. But I persevered and by the end my confusion was irrelevant.
That lingering confusion leads me to marking this book down slightly from its predecessor, but it's still an enjoyable read (especially given the low price), and I recommend it if you've read the previous volumes. If you've not read the previous volumes, you won't get anywhere near as much out of it, but the stories are short and cheap so you can easily catch up first.