In this third volume of the Freedom trilogy, Anne McCaffrey closes all the loose ends she'd left open in the previous two volumes, effectively ending the series. As a whole, the series was interesting, and throughout the three books, I felt for the characters, and wanted to know what they'd do next. It was a step-by-step detailed description of how a small group of exiles built a home on a planet that was initially hostile to them. In the context of being a series ending, the book is satisfying. The colonists finally realize success after so long and hard an endeavor. But when viewed by itself, this book contained only the successes, and none of the real hardships.
The entire book passes by with very little challenge to the colonists of Botany. It was an interesting logistical inventory for setting up a successful colony, but there's no real conflict. Just about everything they attempt works out, often better than they'd expected. About halfway through the book, I was sure something would finally go wrong, but it never did. Some of the successes were ridiculously easy. Some were at the very least, improbable. The humans on Botany were able to disguise themselves as Catteni with a little makeup and prosthetic cheekbones. This disguise was somehow able to fool real Catteni even after prolonged interaction. I found this a little bit unlikely.
As an ending to the series, it was adequate. But to make it a good installment in a trilogy, the author really should have included more conflict and story. The last book could have ended "And they lived happily ever after" and no real plot points would have been lost. Still, the writing style is enjoyable, and I already liked the characters enough to see what happened next. The same favorites are back in this book, and the story such as it is moves along with good pacing. On that merit alone, the book earns three stars.