This is the latest book in The Confederation Series by Tanya Huff, and I'm going to be cruel and post a link to the series TV Tropes page. Be warned you can lose days clicking on links, I know I did.
An Ancient Peace is the sixth book in the series but I would say that you can start here as easily as anywhere.
Yes, you'll have missed the backstory, but there's enough call-backs to tide you over and allow one to be immersed in the Confederation universe. Arguably the first book in the series is the weakest, but I should qualify that by saying this is only because the battle is a call back to Rorke's Drift, which bugged me a bit, but may not be an issue for those who are not into military history.
It should go without saying that this book is one I would recommend if you like military SF in a reasonably hard SF setting – not super hard as there's FTL – but otherwise nothing egregious. The main character is engaging and the supporting characters are well drawn with some interesting character quirks for the aliens.
Again, arguably, the series has gone from hard Mil-SF to mildy-military as the main character leaves the Marines in book five for very realistic reasons.
Besides reading we've also been watching Hell On Wheels, which is a TV Western series about building the first transcontinental railroad across America. It's a bit like Deadwood, but with a lot less swearing. Every time we hear the theme music it makes us think of Firefly. Be warned there's a lot of violence, which shouldn't be that surprising given the historical setting.
Writing wise I managed to do a first pass edit of five more chapters for a total of 16,538 words worth of work this week. I'm just about to move into act five, which means I have 13,757 words to go. So hopefully this week will see me finish the first pass edit. Then I want to do an out loud read through to complete the third draft of Ghost Dog.
After that I'll let it rest while revising Strike Dog in light of the Beta reader feedback.
Still no word back about Bad Dog, which means that's it for another week. Catch you all later.