A fun thing to do with this series is to predict the way the story will go based on the piece of mythology, history or religion featured in each title. Another fun thing to do is realize how wrong you were in your predictions, after the book has had its way with you.
It’s still fun afterwards, though. I bet the authors have a grand ole time coming up with these titles.
Some spoilies below, so if you want to go in blind, maybe don’t finish this review.
Persepolis was the capital city of the first Persian empire, which was eventually conquered by Alexander the Great. Going in to Persepolis Rising, I don’t know, I guess I assumed the title was referring to some theoretical rise of a new human empire, but like, a more symbolical kind. I didn’t think there would ACTUALLY be a new human empire, and that empire would be hostile. I guess I should have also seen it coming that the seeds for this empire were laid in the last book (and the last novella), with Duarte stealing a large part of the Martian fleet.
I also didn’t think there would be such a large time jump! Holy shit!
I feel like this book is going to be one of those where you look back after the series finishes and you appreciate it more, but I was just so thrown by it, I had a hard time getting my bearings. It sort of reminds me of the way I felt reading books one and two for the first time. Not sure where it’s going, and kind of just this baseline of distress. (And this book added into the mix a heavy dose of the bittersweet that comes with knowing things end.) One of the reasons I loved books three through six so much is that I felt they had a start to finish clear trajectory. The storytelling felt almost inevitable to me. But there’s also a place for creatively controlled chaos in a narrative, chaos that feels discombobulating at the time, but after the fact, makes sense. I just don’t think I’ve reached that point yet, though the end of the book made long strides to getting me there.
I mean, I feel like it is impossible for me to talk about this book the way I want to without spoiling the hell out of it. Ultimately, I guess I can say that while it was not as immediately as enjoyable (and the middle bits felt kind of wallowy and depressing), it was a very important piece of the larger story Corey is telling. And likely I will be just as surprised by what’s coming next as I was during every book in this series at some point.
One thing I will say, though, as this is more Bobbie’s book than anything, NOT ENOUGH HOLDEN.