I've enjoyed all the Donsaii books but while Allotropes is well written and thought provoking it illustrates some more irritating features of the series. In the first place, it's all about Ell. When the Eeeevil Aliens are about to get access to our Solar System, and Ell's support staff is watching and wringing their hands: "Oh God! Shan whispered, No shit! Emma breathed". In the mean time, our heroine is off to another triumph, returns, says "Hey guys, what's so urgent" and then instantly saves the day.
In the series, there's also Dahner's recurring hoplophobia. Really, Larry, guns don't go off very often at all when they're dropped. Most modern guns have design features that prevent that and landing on the trigger guard is one of the safer places for a gun to land.