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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author James S.A. Corey...

As tension between Mars and Earth mounts, and terrorism plagues the Martian city of Londres Nova, 16-year-old David Draper is fighting his own lonely war. A gifted chemist vying for a place at the university, David leads a secret life as a manufacturer for a ruthless drug dealer. When his friend Leelee goes missing, leaving signs of the dealer's involvement, David takes it upon himself to save her. But first he must shake his aunt Bobbie Draper, an ex-marine who has been set adrift in her own life after a mysterious series of events nobody is talking about. Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War, Gods of Risk deepens James S.A. Corey's acclaimed Expanse series.

©2014 James S.A. Corey (P)2014 Hachette Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

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

Breaking Bad on Mars

Another one of the Corey writing duo's "filler" novellas set in between their Expanse novels, this one takes place on Mars shortly after Caliban's War. David Draper is the nephew of Marine Gunnery Sergeant Bobby Draper, one of the main characters in the aforementioned novel. She plays only a small (but significant) part in this novella.

David is a promising and gifted young chemistry student on Mars, with demanding parents who have high expectations for him. In a scheme that is half rebelliousness and half path-of-least-resistance spinelessness, David has become a "cook" for a local drug dealer. I wouldn't be the first reviewer to call Gods of Risk "Breaking Bad on Mars."

The plot pinch comes when David finds out his "friend" LeeLee is in trouble, and he decides he wants to save her. The annoying part comes when we realize that David is every stereotypical nerdy "Nice Guy" chump ever, fantasizing about how a grateful Leelee will reward him for his white knight heroism with kisses and maybe even letting him touch her ... Since Leelee is in fact a pro in debt to a drug dealer, this is obviously not going to have the happy ending David is hoping for, but for a smart kid, he sure is dumb.

Despite the main character's painful lack of self-awareness or worldliness, this is a good story that really doesn't have much to do with the central events of the Expanse series; although they are mentioned, this is just a bit of filler material.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story! Weird narrator..

This is a great, short story that follows David Draper, nephew of MCRN Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper, over the course of an exciting few days while Bobbie herself is living with him and his family. It is told from the point of view of David, a fifteen-going-on-sixteen year old Martian student whose talents in the chemistry lab may rival even those of Walter White. Bobbie, now infamous for her role in the events of Caliban's War and her seemingly traitorous support of the UN, is living on Mars with one of her older brothers, who has a wife and son, David. David's chemistry prowess gets him mixed up with the wrong guy and he soon finds himself in over his head.


I'm working through The Expanse series and this narrator just sounds so forced and unnatural compared to Jefferson Mays, who narrates the most of the other books. The dialogue is strangely paced and he seems to add tension where none was intended. Everything sounds so grave and dreadful coming out of his mouth. Maybe I'm being a little harsh but Jefferson Mays sets a high bar with his reading of the other major novels in this series. Still, the story is great, definitely worth the 2 hours or so of listening to this narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Different narrator - it does make a difference.

I really like the setting and the first 2 complete books. The character development in this one wasn't the greatest. But what bothered me the most is the narrator change. He is close enough tone and delivery wise to keep you focused on him. I thought other reviewers talking about this were too sensitive, but it is true. You almost need someone completely different.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This risk wasn't worth it

This is the first of the novellas in the “Expanse-iverse” I’ve read, and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. While the amazing novels are all complex, multi-narrative, loaded with hard SF and trademark dialog, this shorter work was a lot more… terrestrial. The protagonist, teenage chemist David Draper, is fairly archetypical as a nerdy dreamer who falls for the prom queen. However, in this story, she’s a junkie and her boyfriend isn’t the captain of the football team, he’s a drug dealer with a quietly menacing demeanor. Some of the backdrop to the story connects to the larger events of the novels, but very peripherally so. The one crossover character from those books, David’s aunt, Bobbie Draper, is disappointedly underutilized, as she is a fan favorite character who really only has one scene at the climax. The biggest miss for me however, was how completely pedestrian the setting is. One would imagine an author could do a lot of impressive things, setting scenes in a Martian habitat, but here it’s actually very unremarkable, and could be interchangeably substituted for any city. Even the events of the plot could have been written within a contemporary 21st century setting without putting anything out of place. This story really is only recommended for the most devoted Corey fans, but none of these should feel like they’ve missed anything critical if they never get a chance to pick this one up.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Fails to excite

I really enjoyed the novella The Churn (the origin story of Amos Burton) it was fun interesting and gave you a deeper insight to the man that is a Amos Burton. Gods of Risk however fails to enhance the backstory of Bobby Draper. Which is a character that I really love from the expanse universe I expected more out of this story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good short story; subpar narration

The story is interesting, and it was fun to get a closer look at Mars. However, the narration was very awkward. Jefferson Mays set the bar fairly high, but this narrator just does not live up to that by any means. He enunciates strangely, and makes the tone rather awkward. Things seem tense when they should be casual, voices seem very exaggerated. For instance, one small, casual comment is "... or lunch on him, for the other students at his *table*." With a lot of emphasis on the word table, and a very awkward pause at the comma. It just really disturbs the flow of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 12-30-17

Dealer on Mars

Gods of Risk wasn't so much of a winner for me. The Expanse writers kinda failed on this short story. They pretty much took a drug dealer on Earth and launch him to space and just slap the Expanse trademark on the novella. This one was just okay.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

meh..skip this one

if you like the expanse series.....you probably want to skip this one. it wasn't bad, just wasn't all that good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Underwhelming compared to the other short stories.

Not terrible, but doesn't add much, and isn't as good as some of the other Expanse short stories. You're not really missing anything if you skip this. Probably only really worth it if you're a completionist.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 10-06-17

Poor Narration and Just OK Story

The narration is not very good and the story is just OK. This book does not add much to the series. There is little action and a lot of talking with characters that only get marginally fleshed out. This was barely worth the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful