I’ve been reading this James S. A. Corey series since it began. It’s almost become a summertime ritual. Except that it’s obviously not summer. So the TBR Double Dog Dare to the rescue!
Another part of the problem is that the series has become more popular. I hear it’s even going to be turned into it’s own TV series. Which means instead of paperbacks, it’s now coming out first in Hardcover. Even though I get them on my Kindle, it’s nice to wait for paperback pricing. So it looks like it’ll have to become a winter ritual now. Especially since they’ve added on to the number of books upcoming in the series.
This was, as usual, a good and action-packed story. It was more land-locked than any of the previous books so became a bit claustrophobic. In fact, pretty much any phobia you have gets covered in this one. Like engineers pushing something past it’s breaking limit to see what it can handle, the authors (Corey is a pseudonym for two authors) put our heroes into as much trouble as they can think of and then crank all the troubles up to eleven to see if they can get their way out (mostly) in one piece.
In the previous book, the inhabitants of our solar system have found a ring that’s kind of a portal to a thousand different solar systems, all with habitable worlds. So we have a frontier situation except instead of wagon trains we have 19 month interstellar travel times. That means the squatters on one of the planets have had just enough time to start pulling some very valuable lithium from a mine they’ve built and are almost ready to start shipping it back when the contracted company with an exploratory team, a group of scientists and, most importantly for this tale, a die hard security force, come to stake their claim. Once the first devastating terrorist explosion clears, the team on the Rocinante we’ve come to know and love are sent in as mediators until more backup can arrive..in a couple of years.
So yeah, out on the end of nowhere with no real applicable law or courts or civilization. Then there’s the fundamentalist squatters and the itchy trigger fingers on the security team. Then there’s the cataclysmic planet-wide storms and the loss of power for all three ships in a now-degrading orbit and some kind of blindness for those planet-side along with, wait for it, DEATH SLUGS!
I know it sounds silly but it’s tense and fun and swift. The final quarter of the book is the most satisfying because we finally get to pull back from the ever more dire planet situation and out into some of the space ships and back to people in our own system giving us a little context.
A good, not great, entry in the series but a fun way to kick off the TBR Double Dare and start knocking books off the pile. And I’m looking forward to see how they handle it for television.