Most of this one was exciting and well paced plot, but first I had to slog through some truly awful prose that should never have made it to publication (hint - if every character is described as above average intelligence and attractiveness, perhaps you should reevaluate average). So bad that even playing to my love of welding in space still only gets it two stars.
If you want to give this one a try, do yourself a favor and skip 50 pages after the prologue.
While technically the second book in the series, this can function more or less as a stand alone novel. Which means that if you decide to read the series, you can easily skip it and miss nothing important as the only relevant part is summarized on the back cover.