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4.3 out of 5 stars109
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 6 June 2014
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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on 13 September 2013
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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on 18 July 2014
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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on 17 September 2013
I have enjoyed this sequence of books so far - there are original and interesting elements in each of the preceding books (Leviathans Wake and Caliban's War) which made me keen to see where these authors (writing together as James SA Corey) were taking this story. Unfortunately this book wound up feeling the weakest of the three to me and I will be less keen when they bring out inevitable further volumes.

There are many positive things to say though, and I don't think there is a precipitous drop in quality between this book and Caliban's War; the quality of the writing is still high, the extremely wide-screen action continues in this book and there is evidence that a universe and eon-spanning back story has been put together with care.

It is the last that underlines my main problem with this book - that the story of the creatures who sent forth the 'protomolecule' which set off the story in Leviathan's Wake is still largely mysterious by the end of this book. This would be less important (it did not bother me as much in the other two books) if the story had the emotional resonance that Corey found in the earlier books (particularly, for me, in Leviathan's Wake). In my opinion they are clearly reaching for those kind of cathartic and affecting moments but not achieving them. The resolution of the book's final moment of crisis had nothing like the emotional effect that the authors clearly intended.

I had understood that originally this book would complete a trilogy (though I knew different before I read it) and I suspect that if there had been a drive towards a (series) ending this would have been a more satisfying book. As it is I feel that the authors have better and more complete stories to tell in this fascinating universe they've created. I hope they can do so next time..
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on 18 October 2013
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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on 22 April 2014
This is a stunningly good book. Stop reading this review and go buy it. Now.

I read some of the reviews here with a bit of a heavy heart - as some give the impression of an instalment that doesn't add much and lacks the narrative focus of the earlier works.

But I'm here to say that I found this book to be the most gripping so far and that the new POV characters added a good deal of flavour and insight into the political backstory of The Expanse universe. The two authors that are James S.A. Corey are skilled at drawing the reader in, making them care about characters and then...

The back story is becoming richer with each book, the authors have mastered the trick of blending background detail with the story in a way that doesn't jar the reader out of the book - something I wish more writers would pay attention to.

I wouldn't, because it would break my head into a million pieces (gotta love Asperger's), but you could read this book first and enjoy it, and then go back and read the preceding volumes; it's well enough done to worj as both a standalone novel and as the next in the series.

I'm still not sure about the end, it's not a cliff hanger but I really do want the next book out soon please...
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on 17 September 2014
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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on 16 September 2013
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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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2013
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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on 3 July 2013
I found myself really looking forward to the final book and hoping that things wouldn't all fall apart right at the end.Thankfully they don't.

These aren't ground breaking sci-fi novels, but they are well written, engaging and the odd misstep or cliche didn't detract much from my enjoyment.

Abaddon's Gate rounds everything off nicely. One problem books like this have is finding a satisfying reveal to the question of what or who the alien/protomolecule/secret thing actually is.

In this case I found the reveal matter less, because the authors made you care more about the fate of the crew.

Read it and find out.

I hope these guys write something else. soon.
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