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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too tired to write a review...
But please, more! Too good a crew to leave with a few!

If you've not read these books, do. Read plenty of enjoyable but bloated sci-fi. This stuff is as rich as you need but under 1000 pages per book.

Now we have no more Mr Banks, I believe the mantle is passed here...
Published 13 months ago by Juannacho

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Series Gradually Going Downhill
I didn't enjoy this installment as much as the previous two installments.

The best thing about the first book, and to some extent the second was the introduction of the thought provoking idea of the proto-molecule and the mystery surrounding it. So the plot, basically.

But in this installment the plot just got silly.

We got the...
Published 5 months ago by busstopp


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Series Gradually Going Downhill, 19 Jun 2014
By 
busstopp (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I didn't enjoy this installment as much as the previous two installments.

The best thing about the first book, and to some extent the second was the introduction of the thought provoking idea of the proto-molecule and the mystery surrounding it. So the plot, basically.

But in this installment the plot just got silly.

We got the introduction of a new character, Clarissa, who decides to get revenge for her father's fall in the previous book. And guess what she decides to take revenge not on Avasarala from Book 2 who was primarily responsible for her father's fall, but on James Holden who for some reason she blames more. This really feels like a ludicrously contrived way of creating an enemy for us to root against.

And, spoiler coming, I really thought the story in the final third made no sense.I.e. that there's a super powerful alien intelligence that will destroy the galaxy, unless we can turn off our engines! That will show it we mean no harm! And guess what there's a cartoon villain captain who doesn't want to do that, and will (inadvertantly) destroy us all unless we can stop him.

Having said that there were some good things. The belters / Mars / Earth rivalry, rings as true as it did in earlier books. And it's a nice moment when the main protagonists mistake Clarissa for Julie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too tired to write a review..., 18 Oct 2013
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But please, more! Too good a crew to leave with a few!

If you've not read these books, do. Read plenty of enjoyable but bloated sci-fi. This stuff is as rich as you need but under 1000 pages per book.

Now we have no more Mr Banks, I believe the mantle is passed here...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but no cigar, 13 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Abaddon's Gate: Book 3 of the Expanse (Paperback)
Book 1 - wow, this is cool! Book 2 - excellent, wake up early to read a chapter. book 3 - come on, something happen. When this came out, i reread the first 2 books and enjoyed them even more and whilst this is a good book, it's taken a while to do much and the new characters are a little dull. Story line has become a little predictable and i found myself wanting to skip forward to the action. Great series overall but a slightly limp ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An anticlimax, 17 Aug 2013
By 
R. M. Lindley - See all my reviews
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I loved the first two books in the Expanse series, but the conclusion left me slightly deflated. There is less of the visceral action that was so gripping previously (apart from the final scenes) and the big reveal was - well, meh. I appreciate that James Corey wants to leave things open for further books, but I felt that too much was left hanging at the end. A shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed but lose the padding!, 18 July 2014
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I loved the first two books. And in fairness I loved this one too until about 80% in. The last scene (I won't spoil it) well it just keeps going. People have talked about padding before and I'd agree. Every little thought the characters had was explored in excruciating detail while the story stuttered around them. I found myself skipping paragraphs as I just didn't care that much. The characterization was good but I don't need them to analyse every little feeling.

I'm sure the authors must have finished the original draft and thought, "Damn - it's not long enough." I'm told the 4th is better than the 3rd, but I'm all worn out now.

If this is what their style has become then I'm afraid I'm not longer a fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent but laboured with a side order of dull characters., 16 Sep 2013
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Should be 3.5 stars. Too much of the daft religious woman prattling on about not harming the mass murderer. Felt she was shoehorned into the narrative at the expense of more interesting characters. Too static a setting overall. Also if future humans are as dumb as this lot then we're doomed. Too many preposterously bad decisions were taken in order to kick the plot can on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Back on Track, 17 Sep 2014
By 
Neil J. Pearson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I found the second installment merely "solid" but I'm pleased I eventually got around to part 3. It addresses all of the issues I had with the second book by having a plot that was unique and also opened the series up in ways I hadn't foreseen. The POV characters were all really strong and distinct this time too. My favourite aspect of the book (and something all the books in the series have been good at) is how it throws you into the action right away and continues to escalate throughout. By the half-way point I was almost out of breath and was concerned the story might run out of steam. I needn't have worried as this book doesn't let up until the end and when you get there you can't wait for the possibilities of what comes next. I'm glad the series is back on track and with the potential to go in many different directions. The authors have essentially created the "summer blockbuster" of the sci-fi novel without having to be dumb. Keep them coming.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but with a number of reservations, 9 Jun 2013
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abaddon's Gate: Book 3 of the Expanse (Paperback)
This is volume 3 of the Expanse, a (relatively) new series focused around the times when Humans, after colonizing the solar system, are poised to expand to the stars. Although it is just about possible to read this volume without having done so with the two previous ones, it is preferable to read them in sequence.

The alien artefact that has gathered energy by plundering Venus has travelled through the solar system. It has built a massive gate (hence the book's title) near Uranus. Earth, Mars and the Outer Planets Association have all sent ships - both scientific and military - to explore it, with the associated tensions that this can only generate between rivals that have already gone to war because of the artefact.

The book is mainly about the interactions between the humans themselves, and the disasters that their actions based on ignorance and fear can lead to. It is also very much a thriller with the fleet, Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante also facing a threat from the inside that threatens to turn them against each other. The story, however, is largely predictable once you start getting into it, and this is one of the problems with series. From the beginning, and whatever Holden's efforts to do otherwise, you know he and his crew will join the fleet and go through the gate, so the suspense is somewhat lacking here.

As in previous volumes, having each chapter told from the perspective of one of the main characters is a winning feature. It increases the story's pace. It helps to present the same events from different perspective. This device also made the story feel more "real".

I was less carried away by the characters and, again, could not raise much sympathy for Jim Holden who mostly seems to take a bit if a backseat in this volume, perhaps for the better. Some characters were rather good in my view, and I particularly liked Bull, the ageing ex-Earth marine, for whom duty is paramount and the mission has to be accomplished, whatever the cost. I also very much liked the early scenes with the character called "Melba". The descriptions of her fights are rather impressive, but her change of heart towards the end of the book felt contrived and implausible. I was even less impressed by the two priests - Cortez the telegenic and ambitious politician, friend of the powerful, and charismatic and compassionate Anna. I found both of them somewhat unconvincing, almost caricatured at times.

This relates perhaps the main problem I have with this volume: I did not appreciate what I found to be its moralizing and "politically correct" undertones, although I accept that I may be reading too much into it. I also missed the depiction of every-day life on space stations in the near future which you can find in the two first volumes, and which are absent from this one.

So, although the story still manages to be exciting and the book difficult to put down once you have started it, I was less engaged and interested than with the first two volumes. Although this is not a bad read, and I will read the next instalment, I still very much prefer Peter Hamilton, from which this series seems to be inspired at times...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent end to the trilogy, now looking forward to the next one!, 6 Jun 2014
By 
S. J. Rattansen "sebNZ" (Wellington, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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The fact that I read all three books in this trilogy in less than two months illustrates its quality. Great characters, lots of actions, an obvious fascination with spaceships (I'm tempted to get back into Eve-online after reading it), and most importantly - an excellent story.

Abaddon's Gate ties off the trilogy perfectly. I was left wanting more, which is good, but I also felt satisfied with the ending.

The writers have a knack for creating characters that seem very real and human. I found this made the book very emotional at points, probably a bonus for what is intended to be a space opera! (I don't recall feeling particularly emotional during any of the Star Wars movies, apart from being very excited!).

One character that isn't obvious at first, is gravity. By the end of Abaddon's Gate I had a much deeper insight into gravity and how it would feel to live on a planet or moon without much. It's a concept or 'character' I haven't seen used in any other sci fi universe, and it's done incredibly well.

The other thing I really like about Abaddon's Gate, and the trilogy as a whole, is it's easier to imagine that it might exist in the future. That is, I don't have to suspend my disbelief as much compared to say, Star Trek. This makes the world and characters even more believable.

Lastly...the book is just fun to read. I read an interview with the authors that said this was all they really wanted. They definitely succeeded for me. Part of what makes it fun is the action. The action sequences easily bring to mind a sci fi action film. I can imagine this would be relatively straightforward to convert into a screenplay...and hopefully one day it is (although I'm guessing the lack of gravity would make it expensive to produce :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story marred only by inconsistent pace., 3 Dec 2013
By 
Willy Eckerslike (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abaddon's Gate: Book 3 of the Expanse (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books’ simple classic, wittily operatic style and couldn’t wait for more of the same from this third volume of the Expanse series. What was the protomolecule artefact from Venus going to do? What is the purpose of the enigmatic reanimated Miller? What splendid scrapes would Holden and his stalwart crew get out of by the skin of their teeth? The anticipation was almost too much to bear but I patiently finished my last book before diving in.

This over-egged anticipation was, however, a little misfounded. This story focuses on the various human factions as they race to the strange ring built by the protomolecule and vie to become the first to metaphorically plant their flag. The chapters featuring Holden and his crew are, as ever, superb but it all rather grinds to a halt with the ship-load of ecumenical types trying to shoe-horn God into a multi-species universe – a sure fire winner for killing a bit of sci-fi stone dead. The Melba/Clarissa single-minded revenge thread adds a bit of spice as do the Bull segments but the chapter per character structure, which usually keeps the pace bowling along and the tension building, sags more than a little with each Anna segment. Unlike the other two books, this feels like a book written by two people.

I do, however, like the thought given to the names of ships; as well as being the name of the ship in Rush’s excellent Sygnus X1, Holden’s Rocinante is the name of Don Quixote’s skinny horse; the ultimate futility of aristocracy (in this case plutocracy) is nicely echoed in Melba / Clarissa Mao’s ship the Cerisier (aka The Cherry Orchard); and the naming of the religious ship ‘Prince’ is a wickedly appropriate allusion to Machiavelli’s most famous work. Also, as with the other volumes, the title has been carefully considered and again suggests well read and educated authors, Abbadon being a dwelling place of the dead in the Hebrew bible – most appropriate.

If the first two books hadn’t been so rip-snortingly brilliant then Abbadon’s Gate would have been a perfectly acceptable and enjoyable read and, as such, it deserves a four star rating. Also, notwithstanding the above, the ending is very satisfactory and tidily achieved – a fairly uncommon accomplishment in science fiction where a convenient deus-ex-machina is all too often pulled out of the bag.
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Abaddon's Gate: Book 3 of the Expanse
Abaddon's Gate: Book 3 of the Expanse by James S. A. Corey (Paperback - 4 Jun 2013)
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