Man, I’d love to get back to blogging about books more often, but with an 18 month old, it’s hard to find the time and the energy. That being said, I just ploughed through the 7 (currently) novels of the Expanse Series by James S.A. Corey. I honestly think I got through all 7 books in about 2 weeks, 3 at the outside
If you’ve read my blog before, you know that sci-fi books aren’t my usual choices for reading. They’re totally my jam when it comes to movies and TV though (Live long and prosper, y’all). So when SyFy canceled the Expanse (and seriously! Why does SyFy keep canceling good shows?!), I decided that I’d start the books in case someone didn’t pick it up (Yay for streaming services becoming more popular!).
The first couple of books, Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War, pretty much follow the plot of the show. If you watched it, you pretty much know what’s going on. These books follow James Holden and the meager crew of the Rocinante, a salvaged Martian war vessel, as they try to figure out who destroyed their water hauler and why.
These books are all interconnected, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you skip them, even if you’ve watched the show. There’s probably some information there that will come back up in a later book. You also go a little further into the characters. Holden is a little less self-righteous in the books and more a guy who is just trying to make sure his crew survives.
The gist of this series is that some ancient civilization threw a biomechanical (best way I can describe this thing) piece of matter toward our solar system billions and billions of years ago. We’re talking all life on earth was single celled at the time.
They were likely aiming at earth, being the only planet in this system in the so-called “Goldilocks Zone”. They didn’t account for Jupiter, apparently, and this biomechanical matter (called the protomolecule in the books) got snatched by the gas giant’s gravity and locked into orbit (The matter was hitching a ride on a piece of rock that eventually became the moon Phoebe).
Naturally, humans found it and your prototypical “evil scientist” type decided to test it out on humans to try and make the ultimate soldier. Natch. It’s always the “ultimate soldier” or some such thing. It’s only James Holden and his sort of bumbling incompetent luck that keeps these wackos from actually completing their work. Though the Roci and her crew aren’t entirely successful. The entire population of Eros is lost to the this protomolecule.
The brief overview of the series is: the protomolecule is found out, they stop it temporarily, the protomolecule creates a interdimensional travel ring just passed Uranus, humans start dispersing into the galaxy, Belters (the classification of humans that grew up entirely in the low gravity of ships and/or the asteroid belts stations) initiate a war on Earth and Mars, a group of rogue Martians disappears through the ring and then come back to conquer the solar system. Again, natch because they always try to conquer the solar system.
I’m eagerly awaiting the 8th book in the series, Tiamat’s Wrath, which is due out at the end of this year. Supposedly there’s another book coming out next year too. I can’t wait. If you liked the show and if you like sci-fi books, you should definitely check out James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse series. And watch the show! Rating: A+