Series: The Expanse #8
Publisher: Orbit Books
Released: March 26, 2019
Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.
In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.
At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father's godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn't guess.
And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte's authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia's eternal rule -- and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose - seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough...
So, I’m not writing anything at all about what happens in this book, because doing so would be impossible without possibly spoiling the previous books, but… wow. This book really packs all the right punches in all the right places.
This is the point at which I’d say “it’s different from the other books”, but at this point the books being different from each other has started being the rule rather than the exception. It does, however, at times feel a little like some of the novellas, but in the best possible way: the story feels fresh, but also very familiar in that the book follows what now seems to be a bit of a formula of a relatively short, single, setup, before letting go of the slingshot – at which point everything just happens. This one books combines some of the most brutal emotion, which some of the most dramatic action of the previous books, and it just works so very, very, well.
If you’ve made it this far in the series, there is no way you wouldn’t read Tiamat’s Wrath, so I’m not even going to recommend it. Suffice to say that it is up there, along with Nemesis Games, as one of my favourite books of the series so far.
When is the next book out?