I actually pre-ordered this and had it downloaded on release day, but never got around to reading it. Turns out there was no rush, it wasn’t the best work I’ve read by these authors, but I did end up seeing the point of it by the end. I finally got around to it because I’m about to start book seven in this series (!) when I finish my current audiobook, and I wanted to have this read by then.
For almost all of this novella (it’s around 80 pages, I think, but not sure because I read it on my phone), I was only low-level engaged. The protagonist is a little girl named Cara (had a hard time pinning her age down; she read younger than I think she was supposed to be, but then she mentioned her period, and then also mentioned some dates that meant she couldn’t be older than ten, so I was confused) who lives with her family on the planet Laconia. Laconia is one of the worlds settled by humans going through the ring gate, and it seems that some time has passed between the events of the last book and this one, since she mentions having been there for eight years (the last time we checked in with The Expanse, humans had only been colonizing these worlds for a couple of years, I think).
The main thrust of the plot is that Cara has spent her whole life on Laconia and knows it as home, while all the adults around her are still dealing with the trauma of losing the Earth and realizing they will never go home again. For most of the novella, we see Cara connecting with Laconia in ways the adults have not, exploring its beauty, getting to know its creatures, so that by the time you get to the end (after some horrific events) you realize that Cara is just one among a new brand of human, humans that no longer call Earth their home, and who will evolve in ways no one will be able to predict, especially when alien biology and technology starts getting involved, and humanity spreads out (expands, cough) farther and farther away from a centralized location.
Still, even though I can appreciate this novella now, I didn’t until I got to the end, so definite points off for that.