The fifth novel in James S. A. Corey's New York Times best-selling Expanse series - now being produced for television by the SyFy Channel!
A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle.
Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price.
And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.
The Expanse (soon to be a major SyFy Channel television series)
The Expanse Short Fiction
The Butcher of Anderson Station
Gods of Risk
©2015 James S.A. Corey (P)2015 Hachette Audio
Nemesis Games returns the Expanse series back to top form. With the Rocinante in serious need of repair due to the events of Cibola Burn, the crew disperses to take care of personal matters. At the same time humanity takes some big steps toward self destruction and things in the solar system go from bad to worse.
Four storylines full of character background revelations bear witness to catastrophic events from different perspectives with Amos on Earth, Alex on Mars, Jim on Tycho Station, and Naomi elsewhere in the belt. Each story is an individual thrill ride until they are all eventually woven back together toward the end of the book. Once the stories do come together it becomes obvious that there is more behind the events than meets the eye, but those details are left dangling for a reveal in the next book.
It is a blast to get more insight into the background of the Rocinante's crew with a healthy dose of Bobbi and Avasarala on top. Nemesis Games is a great all around story that any fan of the series won't want to miss. If you decided not to go for Cibola Burn because of the negative feedback on the narrator change then just skip it and come straight here. You will be glad you did.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
After a disappointing prior book, Nemesis Games returns the Expanse series to fun form, though it increasingly seems like each book is written as an action movie (perhaps no surprise, given the TV adaptation) rather than the hard-ish science fiction that characterized the first couple of novels. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I really enjoyed the story, but you should know what you are in for.
As an action adventure movie, this book is terrific: there are narrow escapes, thrilling fights, and giant set piece events scattered throughout. The characters we have grown to love all get to star in their own adventures, and get to be clever and resourceful in their own ways.The bad guys are mustache-twirllingly bad, the good guys articulate why they are good in stirring speeches, and everything feels remarkably satisfying. There were times where I couldn't stop listening to see how the next cliffhanger was resolved.
As a more realistic science fiction novel, there are a number of problems. First, the entire plot is laid out clearly and telegraphed repeatedly (the writers seem to have taken the advice about Chekhov's Gun to heart - almost every character or subplot introduced in the book plays an important point in the plot later). The science behind the fiction is also dropping a way a bit, as ever more implausible events happen to propel things forward. Strangely, however, the events are not implausible enough either: the giant galaxy-spanning mysterious aliens plotline takes a backseat to Solar System heroics, for better or worse. Also, though each character gets a lot of "screen time" and some revelations about their past, actual character development remains rather slight, and the musings on family and crew are nothing new to the series, nor are the psychopathic bad guys.
So, given all of these issues, why five stars? Because the book was incredibly fun, and I have finally accepted the series as the space fantasy action movie it clearly wants to be. If you are coming expecting hard science fiction and semi-realistic plots, it is likely to be three stars. I can't wait for the next book, however...
For some reason, the producers used a different narrator on the last Corey novel. This wouldn't be so bad if the characters Mr. Mays interprets were not becoming his own. Mays ability to act the various characters really brings these stories to life and in so doing makes some of the less interesting moments of the story compelling.
Nemesis Games sets up another adventure for the crew of the Rocinante, broadening our knowledge of the main characters and compels the listener to happily anticipate the next in the series.
A shorter story than its predecessors, it delivers with great cliff hangers, faster plot development and pacing.
I enjoyed this story and think any fan of the series will too.
Wish I could give it 10 stars and I sure wish there were more of these. When you get to my age and have read so very many books and a clearly outstanding series like this comes along... well, it is sweet. I like what they are saying: 'like Game of Thrones but with more space ships and less beheadings'. Same kind of grab on and don't let go stories. Happy to see Jefferson Mays is back as the narrator.
A number of reviews have commented that is basically a filler book and, while there is some truth to that, I see it more as a transitionary novel, one that explores into more depth of the Rocinante's crew other than Jim, i.e., Amos, Alex and Naomi, and, along the way provides a compelling story involving a fanatical renegade spacer group that sets out to wreak havoc on terran-based humans for ignoring the continued livelihood of the spacers over their own self-interests.
It also uses this conflict as a means to segue into another major story-arc that builds from the prior proto-molecule threat.
I deducted it one star for it's over-the-top sensationalization of Earth's destruction.
Pretty high, the story is solid and Jefferson Mays does an excellent job narrating, making none of the mistakes that can pull you out of the story.
I like that we get to see a bit more of the major players' backstories and that they're given room to grow by being separated through much of the book.
Laughed out loud when our favorite foul mouthed politician was given a pet name.
This is my favorite series, every book is different, I never know where they're going to take the story next, but wherever it goes, I can be sure I'll enjoy the ride. And Audible - if you're paying attention, maybe think about going back to the previous volume and having Mays do an alternate narration - I'm sure I won't be the only one to buy it.
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First, yes, Jefferson Mays is back as narrator. While I didn't personally think the narration of Cibola Burn was all that horrible, it is nice to have Mays back. Second, I felt this series seriously running out of steam after Cibola Burn. The series felt artificially stretched and was starting to show definite signs of losing the punch that made the first three books so memorable. I am here to announce that Nemesis Games represents a massive right-turn for this series. For the first time the crew of the Rocinante is split up and scattered, each to tell their own story and give us some much needed background. These personal journeys are set against a backdrop of interstellar war that makes all the previous conflicts seem like minor skirmishes. As always, these stories are steeped in modern day social issues, racism and economic equality, etc. While a few familiar characters from previous novels return, there is no new cast guest stars here, which I found added a level of complexity to this novel, easily making it most personal of the series. Five big BIG stars for Nemesis Games.
I was actually disappointed in Nemesis Games.
I intentionally read Cibola Burn in text because they switched narrators so I was very hopeful when I downloaded Nemesis Games...
Unfortunately, the story wasn't nearly as good as the first three. I really liked the 4 separate stories of the entire crew; you know early on that their story lines will all converge but it was a fun and interesting way to get their. However I just didn't care about what happened to Holden and Naomi, normally my favorite characters behind Avasarala. (C'mon, you have to love her the most!). Holden seems to slowly becoming more and more a sensitive, emotional, wimp and I just hated the Naomi backstory. But I did enjoy getting more Amos.
I really lost the Sci-Fi feel here, the story was all about politics, subterfuge and blah-blah-blah. The setting could have been anywhere, anytime...just another Game of Thrones. Our authors seem to also love constant repetition. In the first book it was the incessant referrals to people's hair floating in Zero-G...here it still the constant referral to various foods manufactured to 'taste something like' the real thing, (fill in whatever food here) because after all, they can't ever get the real thing. How would they know the taste is slightly off if they can never get the real thing!
I still went with a 4 Star overall rating because it is a very fun ride and one of the better series out there. But I will also say I almost took away another because I Hate, Hate, Hate books that end up with a set up for the next in a series. Just end the story and pick it up later in the next book.
James Corey (really two people writing under a pseudonym), really hit this one out of the park. After book 4, Cibola Burn, I gave up on this series. I thought it was awful. But Nemesis Games came up on sale and I gave it a try. Wow. Thats all I can say.
Corey keeps the tension throughout this story. I enjoyed learning a bit of the back stories of various characters. The plot was good. The writing, better than decent.
My biggest fault here is that in every single book Corey writes, James Holden has this huge sentimental streak. Its good. But its over done. I want to smack the guy around a bit. Other than that, this book is well worth taking for a ride.
Not now. Wait until at least one more book in the series is ready then by all means get it. This one is mainly just a transition to the next phase of the larger story.
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