In which we are reunited with various people already resident on Surebleak.
As the first chapter of the latest book of a series, this is mainly concerned with reminding the reader (or introducing them if they’re entering the series here) who everyone is and what they’ve been up to. It’s quite a long chapter, which might simply be that it’s a long series and there are a lot of characters to catch up on — but then, we don’t catch up on everybody, which suggests that these might be just the characters we need to know about to follow what’s going to happen in this novel. Which suggests there’s going to be a lot happening.
(Just how long a chapter the first chapter is depends whether the first part of the novel set on Surebleak, divided into three sections headed I, II & III, is one chapter or three. I wrote the paragraph above thinking of the whole thing as one chapter, but on reflection, I think I’m going to blog it as three chapters, if only so that the blog entries are a reasonable length.)