Book Review: Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse, #3) by James S.A. Corey

Abaddon's Gate by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Orbit

Summary: For generations, the solar system -- Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt -- was humanity's great frontier. Until now. The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark.

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.

I had to read one more in the series before I get my 2017 reading on to other genres and I wasn't disappointed. The story takes us along for the ride with an assassin on the hunt for Holden, while he & the rest of the Roci crew, along with a flotilla of other ships from all three factions, head out to the Gate. There wasn't as much politics in this one, so I missed Chrisjen & Fred and a close look in on their machinations. This gave another point of view on the fallout and continued evolution of the protomolecule through the eyes of some religious who've come along for the trip. Anna was a great character to read about again and I thought she was a good choice to utilize the most. As much as I wanted not to enjoy Melba/Clarissa, I did and that made for good reading.

I missed Bobbie and really felt that my favorites of the Roci crew, Amos, Naomi & Alex were almost tertiarily used in the story for most of it (but they were used to good effect when they were more closely featured. Holden's still doing the GaryStu thing but I've accepted it. His well timed quips and exchanges with the embodiment of Miller helped. A lot. I do wish there were more instances of grey going on in these stories. There's a bit too much simply defined right/wrong and there's sadly never any dissension between the Roci crew on... anything so there's no struggle and you just know they'll all fall in to do whatever the proscribed "right" thing is and will succeed and so there's no chance that they'll really surprise you. I hope they're challenged more in subsequent books for a more satisfying read.

I'd definitely recommend this to fans of the series. Flaws and all, it's an addictive page-turner.

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