Reviews

Babylon's Ashes, by James S.A. Corey

oleksandr's review against another edition

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3.0

This is the sixth novel in Expanse series. I read is as a part of the ongoing Buddy read of the series in June 2020 at Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

The book started where the previous one, [b:Nemesis Games|22886612|Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5)|James S.A. Corey|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1407524221l/22886612._SY75_.jpg|42456264] has ended: there is a new force of angry belters, who are afraid that with multitude of habitable world they will die off like dodo and a schismatic group in Martian military, which supplied state of art ships. The force (called the Free Navy) is led by former husband of Naomi and the father of her only son, Filip, Marco Inaro.

The list of themes is diverse and to support is the largest number (so far) of different POV chapters is introduced, both of old acquittances and new folk. The Earth is dying after the falling rocks destroyed the environment. The Free Navy occupies large asteroids/stations. However, magalomanic approach of Marco Inaro leads to a split within the group, with witch-hunting of dissidents. The ‘old’ government (Johnson, Avasarala) try to alleviate the damage with limited success. The team Rosinante should once again save the day.

Possibly because of the success of TV series, this book has much more dialogues than its predecessors. I actually preferred the earlier more descriptive approach. However, when the action comes it comes with the bang!

A nice installment is the great series.

quin's review against another edition

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

4.75

gatorecho's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

brookeaf's review against another edition

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4.0

Despite the 4-star rating, this was my least favorite Expanse book so far. I think it's primarily due to the fact that it's just one ship battle scene after another as the universe continues to deal with the murderous megalomaniac Marcos Inaros. However, it does a number of things that are particularly wonderful that elevates it to 4 stars.

It presents the story from a larger-than-usual number of points of view. At first I thought this might make things feel disjointed, but the plot sped along quite smoothly. The picture of the universe being affected by the war was painted quite vividly by the large number of characters we got to hear from. There are characters from previous books - not just the obvious ones, but also people like Prax from Caliban's War and Anna and Nono from Abaddon's Gate.

In the quieter moments between battles, there are a lot of moments illustrating just how much the characters have grown over the course of the series. Holden reflects on how he once might have reacted to a situation compared to how he currently feels. Characters like Michio Pa and Filip struggle with wanting independence for the Belters while growing uncomfortably aware that Marcos is less concerned with the Belt and more with his own glory. A scene near the end where Holden is preparing for the Roncinante crew's probable death is particularly heart-tug-worthy. And the moment when I realized the very-very-sub-plot started in Nemesis Game about ships going missing when passing through the Ring was going to be vital was exhilarating.

cpatten89's review against another edition

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3.0

Not much happened in this one. It's a lot of consequences from the events in the previous book and not much new, exciting stuff. At this point, I'm sort of bored at the squabbles between the inner planets and the belt and really want more alien shit. Halfway through, I felt like I was dragging my feet so much that I had to switch to an audiobook to get to the finish line.

IDK it wasn't TERRIBLE. There were some interesting moments and character development?? But yeah, could have been waaaaaaaay better.

owlsreads's review against another edition

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4.0

 
"We’re the stories that people tell each other about us."


And we're back! I was a bit hesitant to pick this one up since I had a lot of feelings about the show adaptation ending etc etc but I'm happy to say this was a pretty entertaining read and addition to the series. It was a bit slower and more packed than usual, but I still very much enjoyed the writing and how the plot was developed.

I knew the stakes were going to be high here. There was so much tension from beginning to end that I consumed this story in big chunks instead of taking my time with it. I needed to know what was going to happen and how things were going to be solved and who was going to die. Happy to report my favorites were fine :D

With the way the previous book ended, I did expect things to be a bit... darker here? With more of a sense of dread? Not to say I wasn't worried while reading the book, but I thought the sense of urgency here from all of the characters would be bigger and then it wasn't. I think the one perspective that gave me that sort of feeling was Michio Pa since they were going through quite a lot.

I did like how the overall plot arc wrapped up here, though! I knew where things were going since I watched the final show season before picking this up, but it was still so much fun getting to read about it with about a thousand more details. It made me super curious about the future of the series since, personally, it'll deal with new aspects of this universe that I'm not familiar with. 

arturob's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced

4.5

saneyossarian's review against another edition

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

3.0

acehow's review against another edition

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

4.0

Tenhle díl expanze je podle mě lepší než jeho předchůdce. Nevím jestli to bylo politikařením které mi hodně sedlo. Nebo si znovu navyknutí na styl psaní těhle knih. Který mi v nemesis prostě nějak nesedl. Ale je to možná kvuli tomu že jsem chvíli před ní přečetl jade city kde mě styl psaní absolutně uchvátil a pozřel od první věty po poslední. 
Jsem rád za omezení kapitol z alexova pohledy. Které mě nebavily a přišli mi i nejhůř napsané. Nějak mi vůbec jako POV nesedí. 
Obecně kniha mě bavila a pokud poslední tři jsou spíše v tomhle duchu než ve stylu nemesis tak budu moc štastný. 

tobin's review

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adventurous medium-paced

4.5