Trade paperback, 611 pages
Acquired October 2016
Read August 2018
by James S.A. Corey
Anyway, I enjoyed this. Chrisjen Avasarala is a delight on screen as played by Shohreh Aghdashloo, the takes-no-crap grandmotherly Deputy Undersecretary for Executive Administration. On the show, she's there all along, but in the books, she turns up for the first time here, broadening the books' array of point-of-view characters. She's just as much a delight on the page as on the screen, taking no crap and getting all the best lines. The first book had two POV characters, and the shit hit the fan when they met; this one has four, but pulls a similar trick. At first they join into two groups, and then those groups unite as well. It's interesting to see Chrisjen's perspective on Holden and company and vice versa, and I look forward to seeing this play out on screen; I think I must be just one or two episodes away from it.
The plot is pretty standard action-adventure stuff, I think, but it has the occasional dark twist as well as the occasional optimistic one; both liven things up. If you want space opera, The Expanse gives it to you in a way that feels familiar, but also very rooted. I like these characters (Amos and Alex are particularly fun, though I suspect that's partially because I import the tv performances to the page), I like the universe they inhabit, and I like the deepening mystery. I look forward to finishing season three and to reading book three.