I just finished Leviathan Falls, the last (9th) book in The Expanse Series by James S.A. Corey. The book revealed some secrets about the unknown entity that was threatening to exterminate humanity for playing with alien technology, without making the explanation clear. Clarity may require multiple readings or I might never understand the concepts that the author proposes to explain both the entity that created the alien technology, and the aliens that killed off those aliens and now threatens humanity. Leviathan Falls did put clear finality to the series, wrapping up much of the story in a succinct ending, leaving me sad to see a family broken up and everything back to where it had started, almost, just now with multiple new worlds colonized by humans who may someday again reconnect without the stargates*.
As with Leviathan Falls, each book in the Series kept my attention, though my interest in continuing reading the next book in the series lessened with each book. I’m glad that I read and finished the series, and certainly enjoyed the process, considering my inability to put each book down while reading it. While insignificant cliffhangers, and some predictability of how the book would develop, as well as the confusing idea of some dream-like entity threatening all humanity, that was never really explained quite well enough for this reader, frustrated me and made me want to find my reading entertainment elsewhere.
Now a poorly replicated version now on Amazon Prime, The Expanse books start with the idea that an alien product called the protomolecule has been discovered and is being used for experiments on humans. One of these experiments ends up with the the protomolecule evolving to take over all the humanity on Eros, one of the larger asteroids in the asteroid belt between Earth and Mars. As a result Eros takes a life of its own, eventually crashing into Venus, missing Earth only after the efforts of Joe Miller, a key character throughout the books, even though he ends up dead with the crash on Venus. In the next book the life that evolved on Venus ends up leaving that planet to become a large ring gate in the furthest reaches of our solar system, creating a curiosity for all humanity. That ring leads people to discover a strange alien station and after interacting with it, with the help of our series star, Jim Holden and our friend who saved earth, Miller, the station reveals 1300 ring gates each to a different solar system.
Jim Holden and his crew of the Rocinante are the focus throughout the series from the beginning of book one when Holden essentially starts a war between Earth and Mars. We follow this crew and other characters through the battles, truce and continuing tensions between Earth, Mars, the Belters, and eventually the Laconians, a new power created by a military leader from Mars and his followers. Eventually Laconians are defeated and put on a more equal footing with others in the universe of 1300 worlds, with the underground leading and continuing the fight against the Laconian megalomaniacal leader who is trying to make himself and his daughter eternal emperors of the universe. That leader, Duarte, ends up disappearing from Laconia and reappearing at the center of the stargate station attempting to make everyone part of a hive mind with him making the strategic decisions. Then guess who comes in to solve that problem once and for all? Sorry, I’m not going to further spoil your experience reading these books.
Have fun, and know it could take you years to get through this series as each book in the series does not motivate you moving on to the next.
* I apologize for calling the rings in The Expanse as stargates, because they remind me of the concept given us by the Stargate franchise, a wormhole bridge to other worlds.