Review: “Abaddon’s Gate” by James S.A. Corey

Abaddon’s Gate (Book 3 in The Expanse Series) by James S.A. Corey. Orbit Books. 566 pages.

Before I go any further, here’s the Amazon description:

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 really like this series. I liked it as a book series, and I liked it even more when the SyFy Channel started it as a TV series. I think it is very well done. What it has going for it is that it is (1) authentic science fiction (not space opera); (2) a story that gets you attached to the characters; and (3) is just plain fun and exciting.

That being said, I almost didn’t finish this book. I remember having the same problem with the first book. I got about halfway through the book and it got really slow. In this situation, the story has gotten very large, with the authors (yes, there are two of them) introducing several new main characters that you have to get to know and care about. And between all the jumping around between stories, it bogged down. Where the story lagged is when it spent time on new characters. Where the story picked up was when it got back to telling of Holden and the crew of the Rocinante, the core of each of these stories.

Then the same thing happened here that happened in Leviathan Wakes, the first book. The story took off. I mean, it really took off. In this case, the odds are completely against the good guys and if they don’t win, it will be curtains for everyone. So the second half of the book went a lot faster than the first half.

This is a massive book (566 pages). The way it’s written, I thought it might be the last book in a trilogy, but looking on Amazon I discovered that it is book 3 of 7 (so far), so I have already ordered the next book.

It’s a great series, but you have to doggedly slog through the middle of the book. I’m just warning you, although the ending makes it worthwhile. So if you want to invest in great science fiction (especially if you want to follow it on TV as well) I recommend this series.

I give Abaddon’s Gate four stars out of five.