^^Sorry the first third didn't work for you. I was aware it was a bit heavy on the exposition and loose-end tying, but the preceding books had left me various threads I needed to resolve before moving on with my own story. And integrating them better into the story would've been hard because of the time frame. I was given the assignment of telling a single story that bridged the gap between a book taking place no later than mid-2380 and one taking place in February 2381, necessitating the long round trip to get to the action and back. But it didn't seem reasonable that the characters would take so many months to get around to resolving issues from the previous books, so structurally I had little choice but to wrap that all up in the early chapters. I tried to make it as concise as I could, but I probably could've done better.