For generations, the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt - was humanity's great frontier. Until now.
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.
©2013 Jams S.A. Corey (P)2013 Recorded Books
Wonderful Writing, amazing performance.
A terrific end to the trilogy, Highly Highly recommended even to non-Sci-fi-nuts
The substance to the story alone makes it worth while.
This is a rollicking space opera that delivers on every level. There's action, mystery, and just the right touch of awe. Jim Holden is a classic space hero. Reverend Anna is a true moral compass. Clarissa Mao/Melba Ko is a relentless villain with the hope of redemption. The rest of the cast of characters fall neatly into the good, the bad and the ugly, to borrow from another medium. The narration is solid, believable and not at all distracting. All-in-all, a terrific read and satisfying across all 5 stars.
This is a story that keeps you waiting behind every doorway and corner - what happens next? Can't put it down. I had the audible and the kindle on these first three as there were parts I needed to go back and read on the kindle. The 'alien' component of this story is so very alien that more and slower description is sometimes needed, so add kindle.
Wonderful narrator - Jefferson Mays - why on earth he changed the next book, Cibola Burns, to Erik Davies I just don't know. I will only get the kindle on this book. Mr. Davis narrates like "Bobbie...put...her...cup...down...on...the...table" without the slightest inflection but the characters that come in he does well. No, if no Jefferson Mays, no more audible on this series.
LOVE these books. Looking forward to the SyFy TV series.
I tend to skip around a lot between series - it's rare nowadays that I go straight from one book in a series to the next. But I happened to pick up Caliban's War and Abaddon's Gate together during one of Audible's frequent 2-for-1 sales, and I enjoyed the second book in the Expanse series so much that I just went straight into the third.
Abaddon's Gate picked up where Caliban's War left off: the alien protomolecule has been building a massive alien ring in the outer solar system, to unknown purposes, and the fact that no one has a clue what it's doing or what the consequences of interfering with it will be does not prevent fools from rushing in. Earth and Mars are determined not to let the other be the only one to claim... whatever might be claimed, and so they have both parked fleets around the ring, studying it while watching each other warily. Meanwhile, the Outer Planets Alliance wants to flex their muscles, so they send the Behemoth — formerly the Nauvoo, a two-kilometer generation ship built by Mormons to carry mankind's first interstellar colony, the OPA salvaged it after the events of Leviathan's Wake and has now retrofitted it as a gigantic, scary battleship which is entirely for show, since if it ever fires its massive weapons, it will probably fall apart. But it looks darn impressive, so they send it out to join the posturing Earth and Martian fleets.
Three human fleets standing off against one another, all ready to shoot each other if anyone does something funny, while they try to figure out what the big alien artifact built by a species that was seeding the galaxy before Earth had finished cooling is doing. What could go wrong?
Well, for starters, you could throw Jim Holden into the situation. Holden and his ship, the Rocinante, are sent to the ring by plot contrivance, which of course puts him in the center of the action when things start happening. Holden, now famous throughout the solar system for always telling the truth no matter how many wars it starts, becomes the first witness to the alien ring's true purpose, with a little guided tour by a returning character from book one.
As with the first two books in the Expanse series, this one is told through multiple points of view. Sadly, foul-mouthed Avasarala and Martian marine Bobbie Draper are only mentioned in passing in this book; besides Holden we have "Bull," an OPA heavy made to take a subordinate position aboard the Behemoth for political reasons; Anna, a Methodist minister dragged into a ecumenical conference out there in the outer solar system, who provides a slightly more humane and ethical viewpoint than the honorable but stubborn and frequently idiotic Holden; and lastly, Clarissa Mao, sister of the girl Holden tried to save in the first book, daughter of the man Holden helped destroy in the second book, now bent on revenge. Clarissa is initially the villain of the story, determined to destroy Holden and everyone around him no matter what it takes, but as events take shape out beyond the orbit of Uranus, her perspective begins to be altered by a mutiny, an abrupt alteration in the laws of physics, and the most dangerous threat to life on Earth since a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs.
It would be too much of a spoiler to describe the ending, but let's just say the series will apparently be dramatically expanding in scope in book four.
These books are not new landmarks in science fiction literature, but they probably will take their place as modern genre classics, certainly more deserving of popularity than the many redundant military SF series I've been reading lately. While they wouldn't personally be my choice for Hugos, I wouldn't be upset to see one of the Expanse books earn a Hugo. (Leviathan Wakes was nominated but didn't get it, so the series as a whole has probably missed its shot.) Now that they are being made into a SyFy series, it's easy to see how the cinematic aspects are ramping up with each book. Book one had space zombies and a giant ship crashing into Venus, book two had space battles and alien monsters versus space marines, and Abaddon's Gate features metaphysical visitations by aliens, big dumb alien objects, rival space fleets, and a hot Asian chick doing transhuman ninja tricks, so I'm sure it will all look fabulous on cable. I hope. It's good, entertaining space opera and still intelligent enough not to insult the dedicated SF fan. I'm quite curious to see what where the series goes in book four.
Say something about yourself!
This remains one of my favorite first contact stories for a variety of reasons. (1) The science is (at least until this book) near-future-plausible, which lends an air of reality to the fantastic themes. (2) The characters are well developed and believable, with very few cliches employed even in minor players. There are bad people and good, but even the bad people have reasons for being bad -- no evil for the sake of evil here. (3) The portrayal of the human penchant for political intrigue, even when species survival is on the line, seems all too real and captures well some of the things that we all wish were not true about us. Together all of these elements make this a rare and excellent mix of good, old-fashioned hard science fiction and good, newfangled social science fiction. Of course you have to begin at the beginning of the series (Leviathan Wakes and then Caliban's War) before you try this one, but that just triples your pleasure.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
This third novel in the jumping action-filled space opera 'Expanse' series maintains the down-to-earth dialog, humor, and the perspective-hopping narrative structure of its predecessors. Even more so than in those stories, however, we see Newtonian physics elevated to practically an additional character status; half the dangers the Rocinante crew face are acceleration related. The other half are the familiar contests between violent human groups. Although there is a continual alien presence in the background, its role is mostly an indirect one, and that allows for greater human drama. The infrequent moments of conventional Space Opera, jaw-dropping cosmic scale vistas and wonder are incidentally associated with a favorite character, Detective Miller, and promising new characters bring empathic connection with the reader. The most interesting of these is Melba / Clarissa, whose growth and progression is an interesting one to follow, with some rather extreme arcs.
Science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction...take me away!
I rushed through this series and found myself not unhappy to do housework because I could listen to the book.
I have been seeking strong female characters and this book had them, as well as alien intrigue and a satisfying explanation of the complexities from the prior books.
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