I cannot say it is a very small thing to have picked up on, since it was very well choreographed and (to me) super obvious, but–
Did everyone catch when, for the first time, Naomi pushed her hair back??? It’s about halfway through the book, when she realizes fully/for the last time that there is no one else coming, and if it needs to get done she needs to get it done. Every other time, she’s clearly noted as pulling her hair into her face, front of her face, covering up, getting smaller…
The interesting thing though–I’m used to be a strong advocate for female characters being KICK ASS and TAKING NAMES and NEVER BACKING DOWN. As I’ve matured and developed a more nuanced understanding of humanity, I find that I enjoy well written female characters with flaws and limitations…the issue being, of course, that it’s a fine balance to strike (and the reason that many female identifying characters fall into the trap of damsel in distress or HBIC). That Naomi doesn’t want to be the lead of the resistance, even though she’s actually? sort of good at it? makes her choice to do so all the more powerful. She’s grown through her relationship with Holden all these years. It’s not that he’s a limelight hog (although, you know, he is) but he’s doing that which he does best. And Naomi is doing what she does best. They’re a comfortable couple of 30 years.
In any case though, this is David (the ant) vs Goliath (the monster), with a slow burning mystery underlying it all–who exactly were the builders? What were their motivations? Is it understandable? Will humans ever stop just throwing themselves into things without the slightest hesitation that things might go south? (that one I can answer: no, obviously)
There’s a fine balance between giving away too much of the mystery of the aliens (because then they stop being interesting and worst case become comical) and giving away too little (because then you can’t cotton on to what’s going on, and then everything is a bit boring). So far in this novel, Corey does a great job of threading that needle, with just enough explanation-via-character via Elvi as she struggles to figure out what happened in this pocket of the universe so many years ago.