The Expanse series started in 2011 and eight of the projected nine novels have been released to date. In between the publication of those full length books several short stories/novellas taking place in the same universe have been released with Auberon being the seventh not counting The Last Flight of the Cassandra which was released as part of a roleplaying game as a Kickstarter project. With only one full length novel in the series left to be released this could well be the last Expanse short story/novella we see. It has been a good ride. Auberon is set in the time frame between Persepolis Rising (#7/2017) and the last book released, Tiamat’s Wrath (#8/2019).
This opens at a low point for the home team, Earth, Mars and the Outer Planets have just surrendered to Laconian forces who came out of seeming nowhere with advanced alien tech and easily dusted the rest of humanity’s finest. Think the second world war if Hitler had won. Occupation forces are moving into all the important population centers with big plans for change. One major planet, Auberon, has deeply imbedded corruption at its core and local criminal elements are loathe to give it up. The arriving Laconian occupation governor, Biryar, mets the threat head on. Whether this was a wise or survivable choice occupies the rest of the story. Rest assured that Abraham/Franck’s world building and depth of characterization continue to be masterful but for me the real test is, “Does the story pull me in?” From the first pages the fact that I was reading fell away and I was just there-in the story and engrossed.
$2.99 Kindle book price divided by Amazon typical read time of 1 hour, 12 minutes=$2.50/average hourly reading cost