Nolan has managed to keep his partner from being discovered despite the fact she has a bounty on her head. He's also managed to steam roll most of his opponents due to the tremendous technological advantage he possesses with Taia. Unfortunately, that completely falls apart when he fights an opponent who not only is a master of dealing with A.I. but may have been the one to create Taia in the first place.
Ex-Umbra is a figure who has numerous conspiracy theories about the Nyzarian Empire's secret plans. He's basically a follower of the "Q" phenomenon except dealing with interstellar space matters. Unfortunately, being a deranged conspiracy theorist doesn't prevent him from being a master hacker and Nolan finds himself under assault not only via his A.I. but also androids programmed with all of his combat data. Worse, an evil cybernetic cult is serving Ex-Umbra and have access to the most advanced cybernetics in the universe.
This is definitely the most challenging mission of Garrett's career as there's no advantage that he possesses that Ex-Umbra can't turn against him. Watching Nolan have to find solutions that aren't technology-based is really interesting. Indeed, I was kind of disappointed when Taia was repaired as I would have appreciated Garrett having to come up with a low-tech solution to Ex-Umbra's various evil plots.
The one complaint I did have about this book was the fact that Ex-Umbra is pretty much 100% right about how corrupt and evil the Nyzarian Empire is. I really expected Nolan to have more hesitation when offered to work with him. Certainly, he owes his employers very little given they're extorting him over his brother and Ex-Umbra could have helped him spring it.
I really enjoy the relationship between Bex and Nathan. I keep expecting it to start blossoming into a romantic one but they remain platonic so far. They have an easy-going chemistry and the fact she's a recovering addict, Marine, and single mom makes me think of her as the kind of character Gina Carano would play. I really hope Andy Peloquin will increase the romance in future books.
In conclusion, this is a great novel and full of amazing science fiction mixed with explosive action. I could have used a bit more character development for the main characters over shooting but that's just my personal tastes. Nolan and Bex are interesting people and I would have liked to have seen them interact more on their own down time (which barely exists in this novel).