The Vital Abyss : The Expanse

  • by James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by Jefferson Mays
  • Series: The Expanse
  • 2 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author James S. A. Corey...
Somewhere in the vast expanse of space, a group of prisoners lives in permanent captivity.
The only company they have is each other and the Belters who guard them. The only stories they know are the triumphs and crimes that brought them there. The only future they see is an empty life in an enormous room.
And then the man from Mars came along....
Set in the hardscrabble solar system of the Expanse, The Vital Abyss deepens James S. A. Corey's acclaimed series.
The Expanse (soon to be a major Syfy Channel television series)
Leviathan Wakes
Caliban's War
Abaddon's Gate
Cibola Burn
Nemesis Games
Coming Soon
Babylon's Ashes
The Expanse Short Fiction
The Butcher of Anderson Station
Gods of Risk
The Churn


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

James S.A. Corey and Jefferson Mays!

I could listen to Jefferson Mays read these authors' writing anytime. I wish he would re-record the other stories that Erik Davies narrated.
The Story itself is a good expanse side story with a little different background on the protomolecule.
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- Brian

A bit of background detail for the Expanse series

This novella (or maybe really more of a novelette) is one of several that the authors of the Expanse series have written, fleshing out the minor characters and events that were mostly off-screen in the main novels.

The Vital Abyss is a sort of a prequel to the series, filling in some backstory. In the opening, we are introduced to the main character, who as a first person narrator describes being imprisoned in some station somewhere by Martians. We don't immediately know why he and his fellow scientists are imprisoned, but when their jailers begin asking questions and looking for someone with the scientific know-how to answer some mysterious question, our protagonist begins scheming his way out, no matter what the cost. So does everyone else, and this is when the clues that have been dropped begin to fit together.

The narrator interleaves his current situation with his upbringing, and how he became the amoral sociopath he is today.

It's an interesting story, though really only for the Aha! moment when you realize where this fits into the Expanse timeline. But I can't say it was above average, as it didn't tell us anything new about the universe and the protagonist is not the sort of person whose fate you're likely to care about. Still, anyone who's already a fan of the Expanse series should enjoy this.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-15-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio