(I know there could be some mistakes in this review. I’m trying to improve my English, thanks)
(También puedes leer esta reseña en castellano)
My first impression when I finished this book was that The Collapsing Empire (2017) reminds me Polesotechnic League series (1949-1968) by the great Poul Anderson. That is, the anti-hero (heroine, in this case), the space merchants with very few principles except for the gains, space battles, pirates... In other words: pure space opera.
Briefly, the plot deals with intrigues and conspiracies by merchant lineages in an interstellar empire. Thus, John Scalzi joints the trend about dynastic intrigues seen -for example- in the astonishing series Luna by Ian McDonald. I don't want to explain more, if you are curious you can read the summary in the back cover, but I prefer to avoid spoilers.
As a space opera the book is a good and very entertaining reading. The plot and the worldbuilding are correct, but for me the best part are both the dialogues and the characters. On the former, the dialogues are the funniest thing that I have read in recent times. And about the latter: the story is full of seductive characters, and by this I mean the good ones and also the villains.
Kiva Lagos, one of the leading characters, is a rude and bad tempered woman who swears all the time; but there are other interesting characters, like Cardenia, the recently proclaimed -against her will- Empress of the Interdependecy; and I should also mention the nefarious Nohamapetan family (they are like the Lannisters in this story).
This novel, the first in the The Interdependency Saga is a fast reading and it ends with a half cliffhanger. About the ending, as a criticism, I think it is a bit naive, but considering we are talking about an space opera perhaps this is not so important...
In my humble opinion, The Collapsing Empire is a very entertaining reading, not more, not less, and I recommend it for the space opera fans. The sequel, entitled The Last Emperox, is scheduled to be released in 2019. I will read it for sure.
Finally, John Scalzi offers a list about books that have influenced his novel (I think he must add the Ian McDonald’s books I mentioned before).