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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 5.0
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Performance

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Anti-climactic end

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

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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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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.

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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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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • Martyn. R. Winters
  • 09-21-17

Top quality space opera

I so love this series. James Holden, the reluctant hero and the crew of his ship make a believable cast to play out the drama of human conflict. Wonderful stuff.

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  • Gemma
  • 08-03-17

Awesome

easily the best book in the series. can't wait for the next one to come out.

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  • Mr P Eldridge
  • 07-28-17

Another great entry in the series

Consistently high standard continues in this series, highly recommended. Arasawala must be one of my favourite characters of all time.

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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

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  • Mark Payne
  • 01-13-18

Love it

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

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  • 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.

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  • Thomas
  • 04-13-17

Weakest of the six but still good

I think this is the weakest of the six books. What I liked about the first five was how tight they were. Told from the point of view of only two or four characters, they felt concise and clean and contained. In Babylon's ashes James S. A. Corey throws the formula out the window and tells the story from more view points. While it is nice to get the story from Marco and others, it feels a little messy and out of control. I also feel that some of the perspectives, especially those from Medina Station, are a bit laboured.

All in all though, this is one of my all time favourite series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-17

where are the aliens?

good story, and characters are still great. but lacks the alienness of the originals. the fear factor was gone and felt more political and focussed on human pettiness.

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  • j
  • 04-02-17

Great read

The book was excellent and the narrator was wonderful at expressing the differences and depths of all the characters. A fantastic listen.

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  • Mat
  • 02-17-17

Keeps getting better

Another stellar instalment in The Expanse series. Connected well with the previous book and as always leaves you wanting more. Can't wait for the next one!

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  • Jeremy lewis
  • 01-29-17

Great read!

Such a really great interesting series! It's like the Game of thrones of space and scifi

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  • Katy
  • 01-22-17

political futuristic sci-fi drama

its the continuation of an action packed gripping series. this one follows on from the previous two that were hugely action packed. the pace changed in this one, it became more of a bridging novel in the series, delving deeply into politics and the minds and motivations of major characters. great characterization, look forward to the next adventure.

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  • Chris
  • 01-22-17

Great

Love it, not as good as Ng and cb but still love it, can't wait for the next one