From New York Times best-selling author James S. A. Corey...
Before his trip to the stars, before the Rocinante, Amos Burton was confined to a Baltimore where crime paid you or killed you. Unless the authorities got to you first.
Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes, Caliban's War, Abaddon's Gate, and the upcoming Cibola Burn, The Churn deepens James S. A. Corey's acclaimed Expanse series.
©2014 James S.A. Corey (P)2014 Hachette Audio
This prequel to James S.A. Corey's Expanse series, starting with Leviathan Wakes, tells the story of Amos Burton, whom we first met aboard the Rocinante as the cheerful, casually violent engineer. As a novella providing "filler" material for the series, it's only interesting if you already like the series and want to know more about the characters.
Amos, when we are first introduced to him, turns out to be an evil and amoral crime lord in future Baltimore. While the reader might be thrown by this man who seems to bear little resemblance to the character we know, the "twist" ending is soon telegraphed as we're introduced to two characters under Amos's employ, Timmy and Eric, who are both caught up in the "churn" of one of the city's intermittent crack-downs on organized crime.
Since The Churn takes place entirely on the ground, it's really more of a crime thriller than a space opera, with the technology of space exploration rarely intruding into the lives of the people trying to survive the mean streets of Charm City. (I was disappointed that the audiobook narrator did not even attempt a "Bawl-mer" accent.) It's a decent story with action and violence, but only barely science fiction. Recommended for those who like The Wire and the Expanse series.
I wonder if we will ever look at people and just see people and not even notice their race. I find it very confusing to not know what characters look like and have to keep changing my mental image. This book does a great job of mixing the races, like a character named Antonio Wang or Hiroshi Renault, I like that but I also want to know what they look like. In book 5 of this series (which I mistakenly read first!), Amos (Timmy) sounded like a Black man. I think he does here too, but his physical description doesn't match that. Maybe I am just not progressive enough to ignore all this.
Anyway, I love the background story of how Timmy became who he is, and his relationship to Eric and Lydia. What unfortunate, sick lives! I know these things happen in real life but it hurts me to see a cold-blooded, empathy-less, conscience-less child. Lydia's sick relationship with him did not help him. And she's messed up in her dependence on him.
This is a short story that sets up the background personalities that are still around in book 5 at least. I can see how Timmy became Amos, and how he needs the crew of the Rocinante to provide him some sort of moral compass since he absolutely has none.
I love (fictional) men who are trained and capable of protecting me from the bad guys with guns, but I still want them to be nice. Maybe that just shows that I am messed up. I like the series.
Great listen in between listens. Actually, I suggest you pick this up before Cibola Burn. Contributes to the background.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life, is rounded with a sleep.
Ah ha! I see what the writers did here. This was a great interlude in The Expanse. Vivid back story.
In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.
Yes, I mean... who doesn't love The Expanse? And Amos! I'm glad the sorry stories are making it to Audible
Intense, uplifting, heroic!!!
Classic to the Expanse series, the ending was intense and epic.
Another great performance by Dirk Davies. His vocal expressions, demeanor and inflections work well with the storyline and add to the thrill of each passage.
Churn was a quick read and can easily be completed in a sitting.
If you love the Expanse series, then this is a must read. The story adds history to the crew of the Rocinante. You will enjoy it.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.