A quick story from my childhood: when I was a kid, right after I saw Pokemon: the First Movie, I was super taken with the story of Mewtwo. Now, I think anyone with half a heart can empathize with Mewtwo, who was basically minding his own business with his clone friends before they all DIED and DECOMPOSED and he was woken up to be a sentient weapon.
This is relevant because I then wrote a story in a space-y alternate universe in which I was in possession of amazing psychic powers, and there was a Mewtwo like character who was trying to create a black hole and suck everyone in, and I decided to sacrifice my life to holding the universe back from said black hole. It was A Lot, a very typical type of story from the mind of young me.
All that to say, here we come to the end of the road, and for some people said end was a bit confusing. I found it…very much in line with this story of mine, and so did not find it as confusing. Did I think it was inevitable? A little! [Can’t be an Expanse finale without James Holden doing something silly and heroic]
What else…I very much enjoyed the slow build of information on the Builders and their enemy, the Dark Ones. It was the perfect amount of information–just enough to create a visual picture, not so much that you were getting more invested in the time before than the active plot (cough JRR Tolkien cough). It was also the right amount of alien–the Builders are nothing like us. They’re not humans but a different color, or with multiple organs, or with additional organs. They’re an entirely unrelated form of “intelligent life” that is both vastly more powerful and vastly weaker than humanity…when judged against humans, that is.
But really, this is a story of the Roci family that we’ve gotten to know so well over so (SO) many books. This is a space opera done right, a meditation on the issues that we face and how they don’t magically resolve just because now we have more land to colonize. There are parts that were better, and parts that were a bit dull, but never once did I think “eh, it’s time to read another series before coming back here.”
One additional spoiler-y thought: [Of COURSE Naomi and Holden don’t get their happily ever after. As always, if you say you’re about to retire it’s a good guess you aren’t at all. But I suppose, after three books of them as an older couple, I see the beauty in their true ending: a life well lived.]