Friday, September 15, 2017

Abaddon's Gate by James S.A. Corey

Abaddon's Gate by James S.A. Corey

For generations, the solar system -- Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt -- was humanity's great frontier. Until now. A massive alien gate has appeared that may lead to the stars or to destruction.

Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.
This is the third book in the Expanse series and is a worthy companion to the first of the series, Leviathan Wakes.

Abaddon's Gate has a really interesting scenario of what humans find when they leave the galaxy and of alien life itself, one that I've never encountered in science fiction before. The other elements are more recognizable as we are pulled into conflicts resulting from politics, ambition, and revenge.

One other unique element is that Anna, a Methodist minister, brings religion into the story in a positive and thought provoking way. There are many religious folk but most act in the predictable and lamentable way that fame can provoke. Anna is different and although I found her frustrating at times, I also found that very frustration to be something I had to examine more personally. Anna's embrace of both science and faith were praiseworthy and all too rare in a mainstream series.

Abaddon's Gate takes advantage of the future setting to occasionally include cultural elements that I don't always agree with — such as Anna's home situation. Just ignore it. The story's good anyway.

Except for one element which leads us to the alien gate, I now feel the second book in the series is skippable. Yes, it is entertaining but overall I found it too much like the first book in a lot of ways and kind of a waste of my time. I'm not advocating you skip it but just saying that I won't bother rereading it if I decide to revisit the series.

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