“No. But you can say that if you don’t do something different it’ll happen again, and again, and again, over and over until something changes the game.”
“Like the protomolecule?”
“It didn’t change anything,” Holden said. “Here we are, still doing all the same things we did before. We’ve got a bigger battleground. Some of the sides have shifted around. But it’s all the same crap we’ve been doing since that first guy sharpened a rock.”
– – –
First, a warning. If you are looking for an objective review of this book, you can just go ahead and look elsewhere. My ability to be objective flew out the airlock last book and is now floating around out there cold and dead in space. Mayhaps eventually it shall encounter a black hole and spend the rest of eternity being crushed into nothingness. I am complete trash for this series.
Okay, but with that said, I also happen to think I’m right about it, and what I’m right about is that this series is awesome, and it just keeps getting better, and why aren’t you effing reading it. This is top-notch sci-fi, space opera. It has a believable hard science background, and yet the characters are the focus. So many delicious character arcs. So, so many.
It also manages to pull off being simultaneously epic and intimate. Solar-system and species-altering events occur, but they are always grounded in the characters, which of course makes them even more devastating.
“Politics is the art of the possible, Captain Pa. When you play at our level, grudges cost lives.”
This is also a series that, despite being on occasion terrifying and horrific, remains hopeful in tone. Just a bunch of flawed humans running around space, making a hash of things, and underneath that, a basic human decency, and a yearning to be better.
This book has the most POV characters of all the books so far, which was a smart choice. The scope of this story is much larger now, and we really need to be seeing the events from a lot of different perspectives. Holden is there, of course, and Corey manages to give him an arc, even this far into book six. And then we’ve also got POVs from Naomi, Amos, Alex, Bobbie (now a full member of the crew, yay!), Clarissa Mao (also now a crewmember), Avasarala (who breaks my heart), Michio Pa (the captain who can’t make up her mind which side she wants to work for), Fred Johnson, Anderson Dawes, Prax (haven’t seen him in a while), Naomi’s son (the little shit) Philip, Marko (the terrorist leader of the Free Navy), some random one-off chapters of people working on Medina Station, and the whole thing is bookended with a prologue and epilogue from our old friend Anna (the preacher from Abaddon’s Gate).
Listing them out like that, I’m realizing there are actually even more than I’d thought. I’m even more impressed now that the book juggled that many POVs, and did it well.
“Because Inaros and all the Free Navy people, they weren’t fighting for Belter rights or political recognition. They were fighting to have the past back, to have things be what they’ve always been.”
This book is great, hence my five star rating, but it is a bit slower (relatively speaking) than Nemesis Games. Really, though, I appreciate what Corey has done here. This is essentially a book about consequences and clean-up. You can’t just do what they did in book five and expect things to carry on as they were. In fact, I liked that things were slower. I liked seeing how each character (and group of people) reacted to the tragedy. I liked seeing how those reactions spiraled into action. I liked seeing our heroes fighting against the current.
I also found this book to be the most poignant and relevant to things I’ve been feeling in my own life lately. So many moments and quotes in here that hit like a gut punch, or where I found myself stopping the audiobook (and bookmarking) so I could just think to myself, yes yes yes yes yes somebody gets it.
“But she didn’t want the moment to end, either. Any of the moments with these people in this place. Even though eventually they had to. No not even though. Because. Because eventually they had to. Nothing lasted forever. Not peace. Not war. Nothing.”
I can’t wait for Persepolis Rising. At least we’ve got season two of the show coming up on February 1st.