The second book of the Engineer trilogy, which I liked more than the first. All the characters who seemed to be good at everything begin to lose control of the forces they had unleashed in this story, which seems much more plausible. The story itself begins to weave the characters together much more closely and thus becomes a lot more exciting.
I realised that in some ways Parker is writing about similar themes to those in Pratchett's works (particularly his newer ones) but without the overt humour - there's a certain black cynicism here, still, but the books certainly aren't comedy. That aside, there's a commonality of interest in how societies can be efficiently or corruptly structured and the effects of technological change.