The problem with falling in love with a series about humanity encountering dangerous alien goo is that the odds of all your favorite characters continuing to survive seem like they should go down as the fight goes on. So there was some anxiety starting this book, worrying that the four members of the crew of the Rocinante would continue to muddle through whatever the universe threw at them this time. I’m not going to spoil anything, I’m just telling you I was anxious.
The alien goo introduced in the first book (the excellent Leviathan Wakes) continues to do weird things, this time moving the ring it created around Venus out into space. Earthers, Martians, and Belters unite to go investigate, but nobody really trusts anybody and trigger fingers are itchy. Throw in a saboteur and the ever-inflammatory Captain Holden, and plans go awry very quickly.
I missed seeing some of the characters introduced in the second book, but this one has some interesting new people as well. And Holden and his crew, and Detective Miller, are the main draw anyway. They’re great as always, and the plot keeps thickening. There are Things out there in the black, and every time humanity thinks they have a handle on what they are, the rules change. I will definitely keep reading to see what comes next.