This is definitely not a stand alone book. The concluding volume in a series that includes both Dinosaur Planet books, The Death of Sleep, and Sassinak picks up the story as if it and that last book were a single work. Generation Warriors offers no back story recap to speak of - in fact, pretty close to none at all - so I'm sure anyone trying to begin with it would be utterly confused.
Lunzie Mespil, the physician who appears in all of the earlier books, is once again going through retraining so she can resume practicing after a multi-year spell in cold sleep. Her descendant Sassinak, a former slave who's now a Fleet cruiser captain, asks Lunzie to join a medical research team on a mission to the heavyworlder planet Diplo in hope of gaining information about a conspiracy that both suspect. This conspiracy just may tie heavyworlder rebels to traitors at the Federation government's highest levels, other traitors at the heart of Fleet, and - most interesting of all to Sassinak - to the planet pirates who kidnapped her when she was 12 years old. It's a dangerous mission for Lunzie. Meanwhile, Sassinak takes her cruiser into the Federation's heart because that's where she must go to participate in the trial of the heavyworld traitor whose actions in Dinosaur Planet nearly cost Lunzie and others their lives. That should be the safest place in the galaxy, but Sassinak doesn't view it that way. She hates going anywhere that requires her to disarm her ship - and as always, Sassinak finds a way to bend rules that go against her instincts. That's how she's stayed alive long enough to captain a cruiser.
Except for its deus ex machina ending (a fault that runs throughout this series), Generation Warriors is terrific reading. Elizabeth Moon and Anne McCaffrey are both brilliant at writing strong women, and Moon has a particular gift for breathing life into mature (even elderly) female characters. "Auntie Q" is a delight! Lunzie, who wasn't that interesting a protagonist in The Death of Sleep, comes into her own here. While Sassinak continues to be Sassinak, Ford continues to be Ford, and so on. The plot mixes rousing space opera with some surprisingly thought-provoking social SF. All in all, a worthy conclusion to a series I started reading - well - almost as long ago as Lunzie went into cold sleep.