This is the second volume in the "Expanse" trilogy and it follows more or less where "Leviathan Wakes" finished. The main theme here is corporate greed and rivalry between the two major powers (Terra and Mars) as a large corporation plays them one against another and comes up with a lethal and devastating weapon. While not bad, the plot does have a little air of "déjà vu" and may remind some of Hamilton and his (mostly) "evil" corporations, although, to be fair, there is a sufficient number of twists and differences to make it somewhat original.
Some of the same characters are back, in particular James Holden, the ex-Navy officer who was the hero of the first volume, and the crew of the Rocinante. These, however, were not the ones I found the most interesting. In fact I got a bit tired of James Holden personal relationship, and of the character himself. I was much more interested in two of the new characters - the Martian marine sergeant who sees her platoon slaughtered and seeks to understand what happened and avenge them and the high flying politician from Terra. Both characters I found to be well drawn and convincing, partly because both are both strong in their rather different ways but also vulnerable.
As alluded to before, a number of features are used rather successfully in this book to grip the reader and drag her/him into the history. One of these is the previously mentioned slaughter of the Martian marine platoon. One this is achieved, it is rather difficult to put this one down. Even if slightly less good than the previous one, perhaps in part because it is volume two, this one is still just about worth four stars for me. Definitely recommended, but you probably need to read volume one first.