A great set up for a new trilogy
|James S. A. Corey in 2013|
I read Abaddon’s Gate in the full knowledge that it’s the end of The Expanse trilogy, but also knowing that the publishers have been so happy with the number of books they’ve sold that they’ve asked the authors to write three more! I honestly can’t wait for the next set of books to come, especially since they appear to be on a tight, one year writing cycle.
Where the first to books are mostly universe set ups and expanding the character pool, as well as new locations that hadn’t yet been explored, Abaddon’s Gate solely focuses on consequences of actions and is mostly set in the one location, a no man’s land inside a massive construct of the mysterious proto-molecule that moved at high speed from Venus to beyond the orbit of Uranus.
James Holden and his merry band set off to join a scientific, religious and military convoy representing all three of the Solar System’s political factions to understand just what the proto-molecule construct is, its modus operandi and its raison d’etre. Little do they know that there’s an amateur crazy on board one of the ships about to hijack the entirely peaceful mission for her own purpose of trying to humiliate and kill Holden.
Abaddon’s Gate is a book that puts the human response to fear of the unknown under the microscope. It’s a much darker book than the previous installments, since the crisis at hand is more localised and intimate, the location far more constricting and menacing. It also examines, to some degree, the role religion could well play in a time and society that increasingly finds the answers in scientific progress and cold hard facts, rather than moral grey areas and the comfort of a supreme being.
While Abaddon’s Gate features some action and gun fights, these are largely confined to small scale conflicts rather than the large ship-to-ship engagements that featured so prominently in the first two books. It’s still a joy to read despite the smaller, more concentrated story and is a classic popcorn science fiction action story. It can also be seen as a well hidden set up for a new trilogy with the book ending in a real sense of hope and the authors giving themselves an opportunity to write about James Holden and his crew as pioneers in a much larger sandbox to play in.
Absolutely fantastic space opera, with a tinge of darkness.
Should I read this?
Absolutely. There’s a lot of human drama in it, even if you’re not a science fiction fan like me.