From reading reviews it seems like people went into this a bit more shocked of the Rising part of this novel–which is to say, the main plot point ([the rise of the Laconian Empire]) came as a bit of a shock. So I will continue by pointing out that this was NOT a spoiler for me, having watched the full TV series and coming to the books after the fact.
Perhaps you can stop reading if spoilers are a thing that you are seeking to avoid, whilst reading an enormously popular book series made all the better for its truly magnificent TV adaptation!
In any case.
We are moving on.
SO: as it were, it turns out that the Duarte fleet that absconded and made its way through the rings sans going Dutchman settled in Laconia and essentially rebuilt a Martian society with none of the “weaknesses” of the old Martian society, aka anything that deviated at all. That is to say: martial law followed by execution, immediately, for all mistakes. What could possibly go wrong?
The answer is actually surprisingly little, at the outset. The Laconian empire has vastly superior military tech to the rest of the universe, such that the fragile Pax Romana (Pax Expansa) is quickly shattered. We’re introduced to Book!Drummer(!!!!), the current head of the Belter-run Transport Union which has slowly, slowly gained legitimacy as the third main power in the universe. And just as suddenly, we (though her eyes) are witness to the rapid collapse of every power system that has been in place for the past hundreds of years.
The cracks are there, of course–a system with no bend is bound to crack–but for the time being things seem precarious for our intrepid heros.
And speaking of which…
I don’t know how I might have reacted to the jump forward if I hadn’t known about it. As it were, all discussions of the TV show included a note that the series was stopping at its natural stopping point, before the time jump, etc. It’s a bit jarring, to be honest, and sometimes feels like the sort of thing authors do when they don’t want to write thirty(!) years of history between point A and point B. Now, do I want the authors Corey to write about every adventure that the Roci crew gets up to? No, not particularly. But does it feel a bit sad and do I feel a bit cheated hearing about their hard won life in the passing? Yes, actually, it does! Because you just know the minute that a character or characters deems it time to hang up the shoes and take some well deserved rest that everything will go sideways.
As Daniel Ortberg once said in his review of Mad Max: Fury Road:
has there ever been, by the way
a post apocalyptic movie
with a legend of a green or a safe place
where the safe place turned out to be real?
because I feel like it’s only ever mentioned
so we can see the main character have a big mental breakdown when they realize THEY ARE THE SAFE SPACE
and there will be NO REST FOR THEM