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The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.
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By Lore on 02-03-14
Is humanity ready for the stars?
In the first two books of The Expanse series James S A Corey shows us how human civilization has spread throughout the solar system and we also see how our self-destructive nature manifests itself on a planetary scale. In the middle of the bickering between Earth, Mars and the OPA an ancient alien threat is awakened but that is not enough to bind us together. Instead we try to turn it into a weapon to use on other humans and only the actions of a few are able to prevent our total annihilation.
In Abaddon's Gate we see that the Protomolecule has now left Venus and built a giant gate near Uranus that leads to a starless void on the other side. Of course the various factions of mankind race toward the gate to make sure that their rivals do not gain an advantage and this sets up a powder keg of a scenario. Holden and the crew of the Rocinante find themselves in the thick of it as usual and the stakes are higher than ever.
Much like in Caliban’s War many new Point of View characters are introduced to go along with Jim Holden. I must admit I grew to really like Bobbie and Avasarala from book two but they are not to be found in here in book three. Fear not though because the new characters are equally interesting and Abaddon's Gate is a great listen. It has a little less humor than the prior books but the story moves along at a rapid pace. You never know if humanity is going to find a way to move beyond the solar system or just kill itself off in the attempt.
Jefferson Mays is excellent as usual and the series can really go in any direction from here. Abaddon’s Gate progresses the story nicely and I can’t wait to find out what book four has to offer.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Neoloki55 on 10-21-13
The best book of the series (so far)
Any additional comments?
Qualifier: This review is for the whole series (3 books), to date. I believe the series will continue to 6 books.
Many many authors and story tellers whether it be for TV, movies or novels are very good at writing beginnings and middles to stories. Very few know or are able to write satisfying endings. I think one of the best examples of this is Stephen King. Now I love King, as a great American pulp writer, with The Dark Tower series being one of my all time favorite fantasy series. I have read all of them and listened to all of them a handful of times. So just because you can't write an ending doesn't mean you shouldn't read the story. Now, with The Expanse series it is the exact opposite.
As has been previously mentioned in other reviews this series has been written by two different authors under the moniker of James S.A. Corey. Each book is broken up into chapters that feature the perspective of a particular character. The first book is from just two, Holden and Miller. The other two books feature more diversity by using at least 4 points of view from very different personalities. Most likely each author is responsible for a different character. This works very well to give the reader a wide range of view points on the story, also, as may be the case, ethical counter arguments. Not to say it is a deep thought provoking series, it is not, but it is also far from shallow. What it is, is great entertainment.
The first two books, Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War, are entertaining page turning stories that feature solid plot structure and interesting, real characters. Holden, the main character, pissed me off more than not with his head in the clouds, altruistic, utopian ideology, but the character was true to form. Miler balanced it out with his pessimism. Each book featured a missing girl plot line with an overarching metaphysical mystery in the form of the alien Protomolecule. The first contact story of the Protomolecule is the driving force behind the whole series and dictates the machinations of the characters and there moral and ethical decisions. Abaddon's Gate continues the Protomolecule mystery and also features a revenge story. The use of a secondary story line, missing girls or revenge story, gives the books a dynamic quality to the plot structure which cranks up the adrenaline popcorn munching page turning entertainment.
I really enjoyed all three books with Abaddon's Gate being the highlight of the series so far. The narration is spot on and never gets in the way of the story. If you are looking for something to take you away from the daily grind and transport you into entertaining sci-fi universe, I can't recommend these books enough. Also, the series just got green lit to become a TV series. So get the jump on everybody.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful