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Publisher's Summary

A revolution brewing for generations has begun in fire. It will end in blood.

The Free Navy - a violent group of Belters in black-market military ships - has crippled the Earth and begun a campaign of piracy and violence among the outer planets.

The colony ships heading for the 1,000 new worlds on the far side of the alien ring gates are easy prey, and no single navy remains strong enough to protect them. James Holden and his crew know the strengths and weaknesses of this new force better than anyone.

Outnumbered and outgunned, the embattled remnants of the old political powers call on the Rocinante for a desperate mission to reach Medina Station at the heart of the gate network. But the new alliances are as flawed as the old, and the struggle for power has only just begun.

As the chaos grows, an alien mystery deepens. Pirate fleets, mutiny and betrayal may be the least of the Rocinante's problems. And in the uncanny spaces past the ring gates, the choices of a few damaged and desperate people may determine the fate of more than just humanity.

©2016 James S. A. Corey (P)2016 Little Brown Book Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching

These books are incredibly well written. It makes you part of the crew of the roci in a way few writers are able to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This time around the story just stalls

What disappointed you about Babylon's Ashes?

There are plot holes and the way characters behave is really weird. Nobody appears to be really angry/hurt/traumatised about the attack on earth. That just doesn't make sense. The story went nowhere this time. It feels like the authors are stalling.

What was most disappointing about James S. A. Corey’s story?

I was missing all the ingredients that make The Expanse a great series for me, like a good Holden story (he feels left out this time), great action writing (too sparse) and alien stuff/new worlds/new technologies/mysterie development.

The space battles where OK, Bobby was OK, the Prax and Vandercaust bits where good, but it fails to save the book for me.

What didn’t you like about Jefferson Mays’s performance?

He has a nice and consistent voice to listen to, but he's not my favourite. Some of the Belter slang is weird to listen to, it's supposed to sound foreign but the way Jefferson May pronounces them is weird. I didn't recognise the German or Dutch in it for instance. It must have been really hard to do, reading a boring story with characters speaking a self-invented language half of the time.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Babylon's Ashes?

We got even more Marko this time (the blandest villain character ever), a meek Avasarala (!) and boring details about the struggles of Micio Pa. I would have cut a lot, if not most of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome! Just awesome!

James S. A. Corey is back and better than ever. The authors are changing their narrative style a little by telling the story from every relevant angle making this a complex but very exciting story! Everything we love about the expanse and a little more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Rocinante jousting against the human condition

this is what scifi is meant for: to tell better stories expose the human condition and offer a glimmer of hope that perhaps we can achieve a future. both science and tech are lights that expose where we stand as a civilisation and as what as a collective our choices could be.
while this book follows closely in the footpath of the series it is perfect as a sequel to nemsis games but outshines it as a thought provoking examination of our understanding the terror of freedom.
if you are looking for gripping stuff then read book 1 and 2 for pure joy of scifi by authors who have come to know their characters and understand the full impact of the tech books 3 and 4. this book, 6th is the jewel of the series but cannot be separated from 5. so perhaps 5 and 6 are a super book.
the great thing here is the consistency of Jonathan Mays as the narrator. his performance and the production again set the high water mark.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A good continuation

A good continuation of the story. A lot of potential in the universe still unexplored.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This is the best sci-fi of the era, period

Having orbital mechanics playing major role in the story is not just an added bonus. This book is filled with actual real physics... and a bit more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Anti-climactic end

Amazing characters, but the ending wasn't that good. It was too abrupt and ambiguous I think.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of the best ones in the series.

I was exited to listen to this book, because the previous book left one quit the cliffhanger. I enjoyed the book, but some character chapters just were not interesting. A lot of the new character perspectives were welcomed though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Maybe the best yet in the series

An excellent continuation of the Expanse story. The only downside is that now I have to wait for the next one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good conclusion for the Marco plot

Good conclusion for the Marco plot and overall good book. does not invest as much in deepening the characters as the previous one and does not touch the global story arc of the proto molecule and gates.

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  • Mr. S. Wallace-jones
  • 12-23-16

Great performance

I really enjoyed book 6. The plot is expansive and nail biting at times. The book is beautifully read by Jefferson Mays. Thank you for bringing him back again to read it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jenny
  • 12-12-16

Another winner! 5 stars all the way

I love and adore this series. Not a committed fan of science fiction I have surprised myself by devouring all the books (Cibola Burns I had to read as opposed to listen to tho'). And this one absolutely delivers. I think what attracts me so much to these novels is character development and evolution and a really thoughtful and original plot, as well as a society which echoes political and socio-economic factions that are all around us, I can relate to these people. They might be fighting in spaceships miles above our heads, but they're waging the same sorts of wars. The intense humanness is what keeps me reading, and the great writing of course.

Of course, now that I've watched Season 1 of The Expanse their faces are fixed in my head as the tv characters, but mostly that's ok. Jefferson Mays he is the perfect narrator, every nuance, every tiny inflection comes through.

Brilliant.

ps Audible - will you finance re-recording Cibola Burns with Jefferson Mays? Nothing against Erik Davies, it's just that his narration is not as suited to the series as JM, it spoils an otherwise brilliant run of books.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • terry
  • 12-19-16

Bring on the next one

Another great installment of the Expanse series. I've been waiting for it for a while now and enjoyed it thoroughly, but sad it's already over. just going to have to wait again now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan
  • 08-13-18

Jefferson has become the idea VA for this series

When I started out listening to The Expanse I wasn't sold on Jefferson Mays performance, but he has became the ideal VA for this role. His performance is great and suits the characters well.
The story is great as well.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • S. J. ATTWOOD
  • 06-18-18

started well but got bogged down in conversation.

can't properly write a review on this one without giving away too many spoilers other than if you liked the previous books then you'll probably like this one. . Not for those uninitiated in the Evpanse universe though. .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • graham
  • 05-16-18

awesome<br />

love this series! another good book
i can recommend this series to any scifi fans

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • pinkypants
  • 01-03-18

not the strongest but still a must.

not the strongest book in the series but still a must read/listen. Mays delivery is outstanding as usual.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jonb@armslength.co.uk
  • 12-14-17

Cracking

Rip roaring and thought provoking. Elegantly read. A fine entry in a fine series. Get em all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • peter
  • 12-04-17

Babylon's ashes

Love this series of books. The overriding themes and scope are really thought provoking and thrilling. This was not my favourite in the series but performed brilliantly and entertaining. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • M. Davey
  • 12-01-17

Loving this series.

The story feels a little rushed as the is just a transitional step, hopefully leading to greater books to come. Still recomended.

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  • Rick
  • 04-13-17

Another good read

Following on from the previous book Babylon's Ashes is another great book in The Expanse series. Different, in the same way all the books have different settings, it's every bit as good as the others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Guy
  • 08-06-18

Another great book in this series.

Does not disappoint as with the previous 5 books. The narrator was good too. Definitely worth it.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Marvin Herman Froeder
  • 07-23-18

First book of the series that I return

This was the first book on the series that I dislike. It was painful to go through. About half way, I decide that I would return this one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Simon Boundy
  • 07-17-18

Oh man, enough with the fighting

The first few books of this series were awesome. Alien technology, wormholes, foreign worlds. Then in this book especially it’s all turned so insular, focussed on human infighting than the wealth of cool stories that lie beyond the horizon. Please, let the next book go back to the unknown again. It’s called the ‘expanse’ series after all.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-18

excellent

back to his excellence in sci fi. looking forward to his next novel. also excellent narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julian
  • 06-07-18

Fantastic continuation of a fantastic series.

I couldn't ask for anything more, this book is a fantastic continuation of the series and stays true to the Expanse style, narration is excellent as always.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • joel
  • 06-02-18

wow! as always with this series, wonderful writing

Another great book in this series, still going strong, you wont be dissapointed, beautiful use of deep characters in enormous situations, great wording and a few twists you dont see coming :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • NickC
  • 05-02-18

Eclectic but still a strong enjoyable story

I read another review here that didn’t like this one so much because it jumped around the system with all sorts of characters - I actually really liked that - gave a lot of depth to the narrative while still driving the story forward.

Sure there are always chapters that may seem a little slow or lackluster compared to others but I think it’s the pacing these guys have really got down, not to mention the world building which is deep enough now to be an ocean.

If you’re a fan you won’t be disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Payne
  • 01-13-18

Love it

Continuing a great story, going to be difficult to fill the void until book 6 is released

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • The Osbornes
  • 01-04-18

Another solid book in the series without starring

What did you like most about Babylon's Ashes?

Exploring the characters further with some of their back story was interesting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Babylon's Ashes?

Amos and peaches trying to escape from the hole following the attack on earth.

Have you listened to any of Jefferson Mays’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have listened to all of the Expanse books up to this point. This one is not as strong as the earlier books but still solid enough that I will keep listening to the series.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The relationship with Naomi and her son and former lover had some strong emotional content. There is also the usual amusement at some of Madam secretary's antics.

Any additional comments?

I found this book a little more of a grind than the first 4 books in particular, it is about on par with the 5th book. There is a lot of character development in this book which slows it down a little at times but by the same token there are some exciting moments such as Alex escaping the free navy in the skiff and Bobby leading a force to retake Medina. Corey has set up the next phase of the series very well with the plot of this book so I can accept it is a little slower than others in the series. Overall though it is a quality listen as usual.