Sounds like Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson.
From the blurb on the linked site:
Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans…but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers.
Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile.
From one of the (less favourable) reviews at the same linked site:
One guy dies after he falls into the Slickwaer Lake and yet no one else who jumped in suffered the same fate, they were all allowed to get out and are levitated out by the powerful aliens in the soup.
There are two sequels to the first book: Hellhole Awakenings and Hellhole Inferno.