I didn’t intend to sit down today and write about a bunch of books that aren’t as good as earlier entries in their series, but I guess that’s what’s happening, because here’s Alex White’s A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy, the second of his Salvagers novels, and it’s fine, it’s perfectly enjoyable, but it’s not as good as the first book.
I think it really boils down to the plot of this one feeling too similar to the plot of the first. There’s the part where they get the gang together (again), the investigation of the machinations that are going on (again), and a climactic battle with the forces of evil (again).
I mentioned that the first book felt a lot like Firefly (the TV show, not the godawful Piers Anthony novel); this book really doubles down on that TV show feeling; it’s not quite Monster of the Week, but it’s not far off.
If that turns out to be what the series is, hey, I’m here for it. I like the characters, the world-building remains interesting, and the action is absorbing enough. But a series that just keeps doing the same thing over and over again is still a bit of a letdown after something like The Expanse, where each novel completely reshapes what the series is about.