Abaddon’s Gate, the third novel in the Expanse series, finally answers some questions and provides one interesting, new perspective, that of a Methodist minister. The other new characters are a trusted friend of Fred Johnson’s named, Carlos “Bull” de Baca, and the daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao, Clarissa Mao.
One could say another character is the alien ring, which was inactive until an idiot flew through it. Humanity, still distrustful of one another, sets out for the ring to observe it. Earth, Mars, and the OPA each have ships in the mix and things are peaceful enough until shit blows up again.
Part of the plot is ridiculous, but it’s purposefully ridiculous. Clarissa Mao plots her revenge on Holden, blaming him for all of her father’s misfortune. Things go wrong for Clarissa pretty quickly. Clarissa’s action spur the novel forward. Holden reacts and then all of the ships in the fleets follow suit. While there are plenty of battles, action, and intrigue, what I enjoyed most from the novel was the perspective of Anna Volovodov, the Methodist minister. In the face of powerful alien technology and divisions among humanity, questions about God and one’s place in the universe are especially relevant. How would confronting a superior, almost magical alien technology make you question the existence of God? If you were Christian, for example, and believed that God created Man in His image, what would aliens be to you? Part of God’s creation? If so, what does “His image” mean?
At the conclusion of Abaddon’s Gate, the universe of the books is greatly expanded. There are now hundreds of places the novels could go and I’m interested in what happens next.