Hazel is a fearless captain, Bea is very fond of machinery, and Swedish is a gruff and obstinate foil for a close knit group. The addition of Loretta, who is more of a fighter, is a bit abrupt, but she ends up being just what the group needs. Chess's motivations for surviving and helping out Mrs. E. are very clear, and I am a bit curious to see if the next book in the series.
Aside from the pulse quickening adventures, the group also reminisces about the world that they never knew but about which they have heard stories. Did people on earth really eat string (cheese) and sticks (fish)? Were the seas really filled with whales, squid, and squarepants? And did the people of earth love the story of Skywalker Trek as much as Chess does? Snippets of skewed information handed down about Earth lighten the story when things look grim.