Abaddon’s Gate is the latest space opera novel by James S. Corey. It is book three of the Expanse series.
Gee. Why review book three of a series? The answer is that there was an interesting viewpoint character.
Ok. First the plot. The proto-molecule from the earlier books is investigated. Meanwhile tensions between Earth, Mars and the Belters creates an interesting environment. A collection of representatives from throughout the solar system travel to the structure the molecule made. These include James Holden ferrying a documentary crew, a gathering of religious representatives exploring how their understanding is changed by the potential existence of aliens, a military ship from the Outer Planets Alliance, and an assassin.
Of course things go horribly wrong.
The Expanse series remains my favourite work by Daniel Abraham. Abraham is half of the writing duo operating as James Corey. It is exciting and interesting. It moves forward and takes me with it. This third book is good, but it is starting to show a bit of formula. This was saved for me by introducing a new interesting POV character.
Pastor Anna is one of the emissaries in the religious expedition. In contrast to the dubious ethics and capacity for violence displayed by most characters in the series, Pastor Anna is a pacifist with a well defined morality.
Traditionally pacifists are presented as naive and weak characters in adventure stories. But Anna is strong, a natural leader and confident in her views. She provided a completely different way to experience the story. That aspect was great for me and elevated the book beyond just the third in a series.
Ultimately the book descends into a violent confrontation for the climax. I was disappointed that the authors didn’t find a different conclusion. It felt that they were constrained by the genre. I sighed.
But it is an exciting climax.
All in all I recommend this book. The entire series is good. Seek them out.