The Vital Abyss: James SA Corey

hmmm….the least readable of Corey’s Expanse series. This one, a novella, 5.5 in the series, covers the incarceration of the team responsible for the protomolecule.

Despite the usual quality writing, if I hadn’t been deep into the series, I would have found it of little to no interest as a stand alone.

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Nemesis Games: James SA Corey

While the Rocinante is undergoing a re-fit, the crew all goes off individually and we get to see them when they’re not part of their whole. Interesting, but even more satisfying when they all get back together again.

More individual back stories satisfyingly being filled in, even if the whole Free Navy success timeline is patently absurd.

Cibola Burn: James SA Cory

The first “Expanse” novel I’ve read without watching the corresponding TV episodes first.

I like the series best either when it goes wide, wide angle (exploring the big picture of man’s tentative first steps into space) or turns that focus wheel down tight to the close angle view of naked apes clubbing each other to death despite all their advances.

Cibola Burn offers both views, but focuses mainly on the middle exposures, which I didn’t find as compelling. Still very good though.

I may be in love with Elvi. Unrequited, I’m sure.

Abaddon’s Gate: James SA Cory

SF gold… I like the realism; it seems much like space exploration would be in our near future and with realistic technology…life is tenuous out there and can disappear with a pinprick hole in the wrong place. Humanity can’t get past its tribalism and pettiness.

Much as I liked this (and I really do), I’m glad that I’ve now reached the point where I don’t already know the plot from the very good EXPANSE TV series. I’m looking forward to reading first and watching afterwards.