Review of Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey

12591719Title: Abaddon’s Gate (Expanse #3)

Author: James S. A. Corey

Publisher: Orbit Books

Format: Trade Paperback

Where I Received the Title: Library


In Abaddon’s Gate, Jim Holden returns for another adreniline-filled space adventure with the stakes as high as in the previous novels — the fate of humanity. The protomolecule, which inhabited Venus in the previous novel, has now aligned itself in space in the form of a giant ring. It comes with great power and has the ability to decelerate any-sized space ship that tries to pass through it with little effort. But why is it there?

Holden and his crew, who are now living large off a fat pay check, have no interest in visiting the entity. Their luck changes when a court order comes through for Holden to turn in his stolen ship, Holden must accept the prospects of an ambitious journalist to keep his transport out of the Martians’ hands. It comes as little surprise that this journalist wants to investigate the ring.

Concerned with the destructive nature of the ring, the UN, Martian, and Belter ships follow. The head of security aboard the Belter ship is a man appropriately named Bull, who is not afraid to take action and ask for permission later. Despite his hard head, he must search to find where his true alliances lie. An Earther UN ship also follows, carrying a civilian crew that includes a Russian Methodist pastor named Anna and a saboteur who calls herself Melba, but is really Clarissa Mao, the vengeful daughter of a man that Holden defied in a previous adventure.

The writing team that is James S. A. Corey delivers once again a fast-paced read that puts just enough science into the mix to make it believable. The action is great and the characters come to life, but unfortunately with the third novel, I felt the story didn’t really go anywhere. Yes, the purpose of the protomolecule in developing the ring is told to the reader, but the question of “so what?” was never clear. The conflict was quite typical and predictable as the Belters, Earthers, and Martians formed all-together new alliances and duked it out inside the ring.

Abaddon’s Gate continues to thrill fans of James S.A. Corey, but for my personal taste I was a bit disappointed. I am hoping for more complexity and more answers in the following book with the same witty dialog and exciting action that makes this series so great. If you are looking for an action-filled space opera, this is certainly the series to read.

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