I’ve made it through a few more chapters. Things are much as they were. A minor character has returned and taken a central role in moving the plot, such as it is, forward.
And the plot, such as it is, doesn’t appear to the the plot I was looking forward to at the end of the first chapter.
At this point, it appears an awful lot of energy was put into getting our characters together, but without much effort at smoothly integrating with what came before. Nevertheless, we’re firmly in the Hitchhiker’s universe. The author never lets us forget that. Alas.
However, when the author forgets that he’s spending a lot of money to make it sound like… and settles into telling his story, that’s when it’s a good book. Not often enough, but often enough. Barely.