Finished Record of a Spaceborn Few, third in the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers. I really liked it, and it is clear that Chambers has really hit her stride. The “slice of life” approach of showing the goings on in the fleet and the relationship between the fleet and the rest of galactic society worked really well. It didn’t feel to me like the book lacked plot - it focused on the characters and setting, and those had all the drive the book needed.
I totally agree, the Exodan Fleet or the Galactic Commons are not utopian societies. They are societies, though, and I think the world-building in this novel worked really well. Thick description, done right. While the comparison to the Quarian Fleet in Mass Effect (or all the stuff that inspired that) is obvious, it is clear to me that the similarities are on the surface. Sure, Wayfarers draws inspiration from a lot of places, but I think both A Closed and Common Orbit and this one clearly shows that this is a universe that stands on its own merit.