Reviews

Popel Babylonu, by James S.A. Corey

apocryphal_goose's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

ghostmuppet's review against another edition

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4.0

While i liked this book, i think it is the worst in the series (which in itself says something, as this is still a 4 star rating).
My main problem with this book was the number of POV chapters. There were far too many. OK, a lot only had 1 or 3 entries, but even so there were too many for me. There were 2 main POV's.

Holden: Started off fairly poor, but did improve.
Fillip: A little tosser that i really didn't care for.
Pa: Someone who changes their allegiance a lot.

I can understand why the extra POVs, the story was very encompassing. It was a galactic battle with the Free Navy, which is run my Marco - a very 2 dimensional bad guy (blames everyone for failings, but claims all the glory type). Even though the book was over 500 pages, little seemed to happen (and what did, sometimes jumped a little too fast).

The book ended well, and it sets up another couple of threads for a new trilogy. I know some people didn't like it, but i thought this was one of the best endings of the series.

Hopefully we can go back to the 3-4 POVs, with a prologue and epilogue like previous books.

simonmee's review against another edition

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2.0

The Expanse.

Genocide is measured in the tens of billions.

1,300 new worlds are less interesting than the outer ring of our own solar system.

A mysterious alien process of wondrous powers serves as shield plating on a space ship.

"It was like Holden had become an actor and his role was James Holden"

Babylon's Ashes is the sixth book centred around the crew of the Rocinante and its captain James Holden. Holden is the everyman who's everywhere doing everything, be it contractor, warrior, diplomat or documentarian, a black hole of plot devices where his characterisation should be. His primary antagonist is Marcos Inaros, formerly a mass murderer, now a black hole of contrived failures where his characterisation should be. Two black holes, sucking each other off.

Anyway, the good guys win, the bad guys are disposed of via a magic trick, and a political accord is reached where each of the formerly warring sides needs the other. All nice and fine. Just because the plot of this series has not met my expectations is not, in itself, a cause for complaint.

"They'd die on Earth, yes, but keeping the Belt fed wasn't going to be trivial either."

My issue is that, when looking at the series holistically, the books appear driven by a "villain of the week" motif that escalates to bombarding Earth with asteroids. Moons and planets have been devastated; every organisation is a whirling dervish of rivals, subfactions and defectors; and political power is exercised via military action (the "Outer Planets" seem to exist solely through a militarised starbases and spaceships). Humanity has discovered a system connecting it to over a thousand worlds, yet all we seem to read is about how badly these new colonies are going (the series even devoted a book to how awful one planet was). You start ending up in a dark place.

You can argue that there is a grittiness to this series. That going to space is not meant to be simple. That humans will be affected in ways we haven't considered and it's not as easy as Star Trek makes it out to be. I accept that. But The Expanse uses magic when it suits, and it tends to use it in destructive ways. The are teases ofa bright future but delivery is always deferred. Bad actors are forgiven or rewarded. It's a universe that feels like it is collapsing on itself, yet I am not sure what the point is. You can go grim dark, like the Warhammer 40K universe, where there are lessons in the boundless evil. But the authors of The Expanse have characters telling me their universe is not that, as they plot the murder of tens of billions.

I'm finding it harder each time to believe them.

radiancelis's review against another edition

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adventurous tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

gregplatt77's review against another edition

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4.0

This series is some of the best and most real sci-fi I've ever read.

clairesy's review against another edition

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4.0

Anything that comes out of Chrisjen’s mouth is iconique 👑 

karlk's review against another edition

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4.0

6/9 just one trilogy to go! :P

Another great entry. This one is the most "sequel" feeling yet since it directly connects to the unresolved plot threads of Nemesis Games. Conversely, Babylon's Ashes feels very final. And if I'm not mistaken this is where Prime ended their adaptation, which I think is a fair stopping point.

That being said, I'm thrilled there are 3 more entries, and I can't wait to see where the story goes!

trystonwebb's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

lecari's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

Just didn't enjoy this as much as previous book

A bit too many characters, hard to keep track of what was going on. And hard to feel too attached to them. 

But there were some good / shocking moments. 
SpoilerPhilip betraying his father. Fred dying was really shocking. But I couldn't find much sympathy for Pa, as I didn't really know who she was. Avasala is always a highlight. James Holden still self righteous and annoying as ever.


I think I lost a bit of interest in this one as it's more about politics and Marco, rather than the mysteries of the alien world. Marco felt almost too much the stereotypical villain. It felt like a long epilogue of the previous book and took a while to get going - it felt like the last 1/3 was where the action was.

kyliereed's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Loved this book! Slower then the last one but it was great having the crew back together and watching their genius with getting out of tight spots. I swear the Roci has nine lives. Great ending - I couldn’t put it down the last few 100 pages.