Babylon’s Ashes: James SA Corey

Still my favourite sci-fi series, with quality in plotting, characterization, and choice and arrangement of words throughout.

This one is a bit of a placeholder between what you can see are two parts of the series, moving from our solar system (the books up to this point) out past the Gate (what is to come). In fact, the final couple of chapters have little to do with the rest of the book, just setting up what is coming next, and thus felt a little forced (but necessary).

More damn fine pie.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: Hank Green

Mmm, mmm, good. An absolutely remarkable first novel. So yummy that I confess I binge read it, with hooked fingers scooping New York Carl — cold — straight out of the can, not willing to go get a spoon, re-constitute it, or even wait and heat it up. Oh, and crackers? Fuggedaboutit!

However….however … I am getting tired of this whole literary GIRL-WHO-??? theme that states every work must seemingly include a precocious, sexually ambiguous, early-20s young woman whom everyone who comes in contact with her agrees to put their lives on complete hold for.

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.

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.