Author: James S.A. Corey
Series: Expanse #3
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
“Ever wonder what we did wrong that got us here?”
A little context (it took me a few beats to realize that the titles of these books always have some context behind them) for the title: Abaddon is a place of destruction, which often appeared alongside the realm of the dead. The gate in this novel? The Ring.
Humanity is headed to The Ring, the odd thing that has appeared in our solar system as the fallout of the protomolecule. But it isn’t the only antagonist trying to explode the tenuous alliance between the powers that be. Enter Julie’s sister, who is hell bent on revenge against blabbermouth James Holden, who destroyed her father’s life and empire.
Try as I might, the above is the best synopsis I could come up with. Abaddon’s Gate just wasn’t my favorite plot. The protomolecule I could get behind. This gate into thousands of different solar systems, developed by this far superior alien race who keeps Miller in the story? Ehhhhh, not so much. And the new characters in this novel don’t make up for the characters lost to the series. Bull is no Bobbie. Anna is no Bobbie either. No one in this novel can even hold a candle to Bobbie’s shadow. And my spirit animal Avasarala? Nowhere. These characters make this series, and poof. Nowhere to be seen. Even the Roci gang plays a much smaller role in this novel. While Holden will never be my favorite character, his development leaves so much to contrast to the others. And Amos is the best comic relief there is. They are so underutilized in this novel.
I don’t want to call Abaddon’s Gate boring, because it has its moments. But it isn’t a thrill ride. And it’s long. It feels drawn out with character development going into characters that won’t stay with you in the long run while ignoring its benchmark characters.
Still, I hope the next novel will get back on track. This novel feels like a bit of a sophomore slump which came one novel late, but it has just enough of the Right Stuff to keep interested readers buying the next book.