I found a couple of interesting things in author's notes after finishing the book:
"Isn’t it amazing how science fiction offers so much potential for exploring our humanity? Sometimes with characters who aren’t even human?
That’s a theme that’s always appealed to me as a reader and viewer (The Fox and the Hound was my favorite Disney movie as a kid!), and I find it fun to explore as a writer, too, the idea that there aren’t good guys and bad guys so much as there are regular people with beliefs and viewpoints that happen to put them at odds with each other."
“Slavery?” Mica pointed a finger at Alisa’s nose. “Captain, this is why I’m always pessimistic. Bad things happen all the time. Good things are an oddity.”
Mica is ship's female engineer; Alisa the female captain. And, yes, they find more things to talk about than haaaawwwwttt potential love interests, how speshul the main character (Alisa) is or be sounding boards for long infodumps.