Second part of Hamilton's alien-invasion space opera trilogy (Salvation, 2018).
Of the three main plot threads here, two are set early in the 23rd century. Thanks to the shattering discovery made at the end of Book 1, humanity now knows that the seemingly benevolent Olyix actually plan to turn humans into pods and carry them away to meet the Olyix god at the end of the universe. With their subterfuge now revealed, the Olyix launch a full-scale invasion. Various members of the fabulously wealthy Zangari family, which controls the instantaneous-transfer wormhole portal network, plan Earth's defense along with the Utopial agent Callum Hepburn and others. A second alien race, the Neána, arrived stealthily some years ago and grew human bodies; one such, Jessika, now advises humanity to run and hide. But, disconcerted by the Olyix treachery, the humans don't really trust her despite her revelations and outright reject the run-and-hide strategy in favor of direct action. The second thread involves a gang of thugs led by Tronde, who've been hired to sabotage Zangari facilities; they don't care why. Ten thousand years in the future, meanwhile, the soldier trainees we met in the first book set a trap for an Olyix vessel, intending to learn the whereabouts of the alien homeworld; they're being secretly observed by a mysterious and powerful entity and may be disastrously overconfident. The thugs are problematic, being mostly an incorrigible bunch whose self-centered doings serve little purpose other than to pad out the proceedings. For the remainder, though, the pacing is swift, with spectacular action, thoughtful strategies, eye-popping ideas, and Hamilton's usual attention to detail, all woven into a taut, gripping narrative.
Not quite yet top drawer but a vast improvement on its circuitous, dawdling predecessor.