I am not sure that there is anything objectively wrong The Life of the World to Come, the fifth book in Kage Baker’s Company series, but it left me rather grumpy all the same.
Recall that at the end of the fourth book, before I took a detour off into short stories, I was thrilled at the plot-full nature of the book. Stuff happening! Cliffhanger! And this book opens with a return to Mendoza’s narration, in which exciting things happen . . . and then almost all the rest of the book is backstory.
It’s good backstory, that of Alec Checkerfield, and it leads up to some affecting and interestingly weird stuff; but still, not much motion on the overall plot. And the next book is a fixup, so I don’t expect much out of that, either. Grump.
Also, I would really like someone in-story to test the assertion that recorded history can’t be changed, because it would affect my opinion of some of the moral calculations. (Don’t tell me if I’m going to get it.) But then, I’m on record as having difficulty with time travel stories anyway.