The third book in the brilliant Expanse series is just as strong, entertaining and involving as the previous two installments, and I have one more to go before the long wait until next June starts!
I love the way they craft their stories, our loyal crew of the Roci are all here, Holden, Naomi, Alex and Amos, and once again they are drawn into events bigger than they are, but as in the previous books, the authors populate this universe with other three-dimensional characters, who all play a part in what happens.
This time around, the protomolecule, which launched something out of Venus’ atmosphere at the close of the second book, is revealed to have created a giant ring at the edge of the solar system. A ring that may in fact be a portal, or gate, to somewhere else.
And despite his best plans, James Holden is being maneuvered towards it, by visitations from his old ally, Miller, who died when the protomoloecule covered Eros flew into Venus’ atmosphere, by Martian legal forces who are attempting to seize their ship out from under them, and by a documentary crew , that may have ulterior motives, that is covering the Ring.
Springing into this world is Clarissa Mao, the sister of Julie, who was infected with molecule in the first book, the daughter of Mao, who tried to weaponize it in the first place, and who is intent on avenging her family on Holden and his crew.
As the Outer Planets Alliance, the Martian fleet, and the Earth fleet all merge on the Ring, tensions begin to mount, and the possibility of a shooting war becomes a real possibility, but when an unusual gateway station is revealed beyond the Ring, things get really drastic, and the crew of the Roci find themselves right in the middle of it.
I love how these novels are working, the first novel establishing the characters, the physics and the world itself, the second expanding it, and then with this novel, blowing the doors on the universe wide open. I can’t wait to see where book four goes, because almost anything is possible now.
I also love that while obviously a science fiction novel, the authors have grounded it in an almost everyday reality, because like life, there’s drama, humor, moments of terror, all of them are here in this book, and these characters, in these three gorgeously written books, have become real people to me.
By this one’s end, when all the things have been resolved, and the seeds laid for the next book I had a huge smile on my face, and had a feeling of contentment in my heart. I’m going to leave this series for a book or two, while I read something else, but I cannot wait to come back and return to this world. It’s filled with everyday people, and sometimes they find themselves in extraordinary circumstance. But for all that, they are still human, and the crew of the Roci, feels like family to me, and that ship, which I can see in my mind’s eye, feels a lot like home.
If you haven’t read this series yet, I can’t recommend it enough! As mentioned before, I’m not a big sci-fi reader, though I love my sci-fi movies, but this series is making me a real believer.