Glad that I found this novella on Goodreads instead of just the entry for Memory’s Legion, which made it seem like I’d re-read all of the Expanse novellas instead of doing what I did, which is run immediately to the end of that book to read this new entry, which ties up the last loose thread (or, one of the final loose threads) of the extended universe.
To be clear, I wouldn’t say to skip Memory’s Legion–Corey writes out some short author notes after each story to give more context and meaning to some of the stories, and it’s worth reading those as well (if, like me, you are bereft for the ending of the Expanse and looking for something, anything to fill in the gaping void).
The blurb for this one is a bit sparse, but…it’s hard to talk about what it’s about without giving away the main character. The title might be a giveaway. Maybe not?
The last spoiler-free thought I have is, only Corey can address a plot point like this in such an open ended way such that there’s not really closure. And address a time period ostensibly after the novels (spoiler for Leviathan Falls [but before the epilogue of the novels!]) without ruining the finish of the books.
Spoilers, including for Leviathan Falls: [This novella is, of course, about Filip, Naomi’s son, whom in the books we last saw escaping from the Pella before it went Dutchman at Naomi’s hands. That he never appears again the 30-year flashforward rankled some people, I think, who wanted Naomi to learn that she hadn’t killed her only kid in the service of the greater good. I think they’re mistaken. For all that Filip had a last minute change of heart, he’s essentially a Kylo Ren type character–genocide is on his hands, and that’s not a thing that you can easily paper over (unless you’re in fanfic land, in which case anything goes).
And of course, giving Naomi knowledge that Filip is alive ruins the beauty and tragedy and strength of the arc where she makes the decision to pull the trigger and destroy the Pella.
Filip, we learn, has been beep bopping around the universe since that moment, and has landed on a planet that is teetering on the edge of starvation and ruin at any moment (#colonystruggles, amirte)…with the added issue of Holden’s decision at the end of Leviathan Falls which means that he’s also left stranded on a planet not of his choosing (he was there for a job when the gates fell).
There are no real answers to be had, just the knowledge that Filip has to live with of what he’s done and what’s left for him on this world.]