nd with this, the eight book of the Expanse series (or is that The Expense?), I’m caught up. Now, like everyone else, I’m going to have to wait for the next one. There aren’t unread Expanses on the bookstore shelf anymore.
The worlds (all 1300 of them) were pretty screwed. In the last book, the Laconians (a break-away fleet from Mars that discovered alien-tech shipmaking platforms) had sent a battleship through their gate. They trounced Medina Station (which held the hub in a Gibraltarian grip) and then munched the massed fleets of Earth and Mars with their spooky ironclad. And that was it – the seventh book ended with that same sense of doom that the first half of War of the Worlds ended with – the entire universe belonged to the Laconians.
Hero James Holden is a captive of their High Counselor. Amos is missing during a sneak-a-nuke-in mission. Naomi is living in a drop box, shuttling around and trying to organize a resistance. And Alex and Bobbie are flying around on the Storm, a Laconian frigate they stole, and pretty much the only asset the resistance has (outside of the mothballed Rocinante). So things are sucky.
But a lot can happen in 531 pages. The Laconians are trying to play “prisoner dilemma” with dark gods in another dimension (and awaking things best left slumbering). The High Counselor’s daughter is increasingly unhappy. The resistance gets a couple of lucky breaks (and there is no better lucky break than a couple of magnetic bottles of antimatter). Things begin to brew. And what looks like the impossible becomes a suspense-filled space battle of truly epic proportions in the end.
It doesn’t come without cost. I can point to three major characters (who were the subject of their own chapters in the earlier books) dying. In that, it’s very much like Game of Thrones. Don’t get too attached, right?
But a good book with a great ending with a final couple of lines that make things even darker that before. Yeah, if you haven’t read these things, go out and look up the series – James S.A. Corey wrote them and I’ve reviewed them all. You won’t believe what happens to the universe!