The Expanse novel series thread WARNING TV SPOILERS

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Miller dies.

Kirk Cobain (Leee), Thursday, 11 January 2018 20:45 (three years ago) link

reading the first book actually turned me off of the whole thing for some reason, wish I hadn't. it made the story feel way more clumsy

ciderpress, Thursday, 11 January 2018 20:52 (three years ago) link

Yeah, the first book is sloggy -- Miller's investigation meanders more. (I was also rewatching the second season at the same time, so that added to my impatience.)

The pacing is a little better in the second and overall a better read than the first. The series really gets hopping from the third book on, though.

The ASOIAF parallels are fun to think about.

Kirk Cobain (Leee), Thursday, 11 January 2018 21:04 (three years ago) link

yeah it's clearly trying to use the same mold

ciderpress, Thursday, 11 January 2018 21:06 (three years ago) link

A reasonable ranking would be:

Caliban's War (2) > Nemesis Games (5) > Babylon's Ashes (6) > Leviathan Wakes (1) > Persopolis Rising (7) > Abaddon's Gate (3) >> Cibola Burn (4)

Like a lot of space-opera, the quality of ideas diminishes, and readers wish they would visit more interesting concepts, even while getting attached to the characters.

The major advantage of the books over the TV series is that Holden actually seems more like a natural leader, and not just ethical Quixote. The major advantage of the TV series over the books (I hope) is the whole "history rhymes, even in space" premise won't be spelled out so fucking many times.

Sanpaku, Thursday, 11 January 2018 21:31 (three years ago) link

A few details that I really like about the books that don't really carry over to the TV series

* Things happen over long periods of time, it still take months to get anywhere even with an Epstein drive
* Everything in space is really cramped, claustrophobic and utilitarian
* Nobody puts windows in anything - almost everything that happens outside ships happens almost as a computer game

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 12 January 2018 04:31 (three years ago) link

It doesn't get terribly ASOIAF until later on, when the chapterized POV format forces the authors to bring in leaders of all the factions (besides Mars) to explain what's going on. I suspect an equally good, perhaps superior, series could be made without the Rocinante crew inplausibly always being at the focus of conflict, but instead navigating the tempest for survival.

Sanpaku, Friday, 12 January 2018 18:15 (three years ago) link

I quite liked Cibola Burn although it did feel like a standalone sci-fi novel with the Expanse bits bolted on.

Didn't get on with the 20 odd year jump in the latest novel as a lot of the characters hadn't really grown in that time and a few seem to have disappeared completely.

There's also been a disappointing lack of development with the protomolecule plot in the last few books. Having to wait a year between books doesn't help either.

groovypanda, Friday, 12 January 2018 18:28 (three years ago) link

I don't really understand the bits about simultaneously seeing two different things occupying the same space breaking one's brains, but then mine broke whenever the books mention that Naomi is taller than Holden (since the actors are now fixed in mind).

Kirk Cobain (Leee), Saturday, 13 January 2018 02:23 (three years ago) link

That’s always bugged me about the adaptation. Naomi (and Alex should be taller than Holden and Amos and bobby should be a giant. Doing this with CGI would be terrible but it does bug me.

Naomi’s hair is wrong in the tv show too, she spends a lot of time hiding behind it in the books. I do like the actor playing Naomi otherwise.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Saturday, 13 January 2018 03:29 (three years ago) link

I quite liked Cibola Burn although it did feel like a standalone sci-fi novel with the Expanse bits bolted on.

Ditto -- it initially disappointed me after the SF ballsiness of Abbadon's Gate, but I got into it once it became clear it was going to be a frontier story. CB does feature the best writing in the series with the interludes, IMO.

Kirk Cobain (Leee), Saturday, 13 January 2018 20:56 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

Saw in my Kindle that the next book is Tiamat's Wrath and is scheduled for release 2018-12-04.

Twyla Thwoorp (Leee), Friday, 11 May 2018 17:22 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

From the other thread. Really everything is different with the dynamic with Ashford and Drummer, since Drummer is a combo of Pa/Bull. Loved the whole scene with them trapped, I mean it was kind of belter corny, but I thought it did add depth. I’m really liking TV Ashford, he’s a much more nuanced character than in the book, which I thought he was just kind of dull/one note. At this point, I’m not sure how the whole mutiny will play out. They had already changed in from the book where it was a mutiny and then the re-mutiny, then the re-re-mutiny. Will there be a Sam like character that Ashford kills? Drummer better not fucking die like Bull did though. I don’t even like to see her get hurt and have to have robot legs.

Jeff, Friday, 22 June 2018 17:26 (three years ago) link

Drummer's a fan favorite, which probably contributed to JSA Corey writing a substantial viewpoint role in *Persepolis Rising*. Her plot armor is the thickest of anyone not on the *Roci* crew.

Chaos reigns... in my pants (Sanpaku), Friday, 22 June 2018 17:58 (three years ago) link

Drummer is a combo of Pa/Bull.

Plus book Drummer!

I initially thought that the show wouldn't do another mutiny this season, especially since they made Ashford less of an obviously preening idiot, but this new characterization would actually make the struggle for control of the Behemoth more interesting.

Martin Landau Ballet (Leee), Friday, 22 June 2018 18:55 (three years ago) link

Yeah, who knows if she’ll be doing the whole transport union thing or taking over Tycho when Fred dies.

I also wonder if she’ll pick up any of the other Pa stuff, like joining the Marco navy assholes and being married to six other people.

Jeff, Friday, 22 June 2018 22:05 (three years ago) link

Drummer fucking lives!!! Goddammit, I feel like they were just fucking with book readers that were dreading her going out like Bull.

Jeff, Thursday, 28 June 2018 17:47 (three years ago) link

Also Ashford fucking lives. Didn’t expect that.

Jeff, Thursday, 28 June 2018 17:48 (three years ago) link

Yeah, two twists I'm happy with.

Really thought Drummer was a goner as it seemed to be following the book.

Will be interesting to see what they do next season as it will feel like a different show if they do the fourth book.

groovypanda, Thursday, 28 June 2018 22:52 (three years ago) link

I just read, but didn't love, Leviathan Wakes. But after a sloggy middle, the ending left me with a lot of goodwill about picking up the second book. Is it worth it, for the long haul? Do the books get better, and stay good?

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:36 (three years ago) link

Also - this may not be an original observation - but the writing is super uneven! Some of Miller's interior monologues are really tightly written, but I found most of the action scenes (apart from the ending) really difficult to parse. Maybe one of James Corey is a better writer than the other?

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:40 (three years ago) link

(e.g. I would've been totally lost with the Eros plague scenes if I hadn't watched the first season of the TV show.)

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:40 (three years ago) link

Chuck_Tatum
Posted: July 1, 2018 at 11:40:04
Also - this may not be an original observation - but the writing is super uneven! Some of Miller's interior monologues are really tightly written, but I found most of the action scenes (apart from the ending) really difficult to parse. Maybe one of James Corey is a better writer than the other?

Yes, very much yes. One of the writers has such a thing for the lengthy description of space-physics, characters who are total scientist ciphers, and digressions into belt politics.

rb (soda), Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:22 (three years ago) link

My pet peeve with the writing in the books is them using "intellectually" to mean "rationally," but then I suspect I'm growing prescriptivist in my impending dotage.

Martin Landau Ballet (Leee), Monday, 2 July 2018 23:36 (three years ago) link

Interview with Naren Shankar here which details some of the things that will be happening next season. Varying episode lengths and no obvious cuts to commercials will be good plus not worrying about whether I've got the dubbed swearing version or not:

http://ew.com/tv/2018/06/27/the-expanse-season-3-finale-showrunner-naren-shankar/

groovypanda, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 09:39 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

I've been reading the novellas, and man, the writing is awful.

Justice Leee Unlimited (Leee), Friday, 24 August 2018 00:37 (three years ago) link

Aren't the novellas by one half of Corey (possibly the bad half?)

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 25 August 2018 21:08 (three years ago) link

I really only liked one of the novellas. The latest one, I think.

Jeff, Sunday, 26 August 2018 00:28 (three years ago) link

nine months pass...

I finished Tiamat's Wrath a few nights ago, it's really good!

Chuck, did you go on with the novels? I had a hard time finishing the first one, but after that the plotting gets tighter and tighter (the prose, not so much).

Shoegazi (Leee), Thursday, 13 June 2019 20:21 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

I'm starting Nemesis Games right now. This is the one people are really into, right?

mh, Thursday, 26 September 2019 15:19 (two years ago) link

that's the one that's considerably different (in terms of setting, the characters being split up) than the previous books -- it's good!

sarahell, Thursday, 26 September 2019 17:47 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Finished the first four books, reading the novellas while I wait for book 5 to turn up in the post. Enjoying them hugely, while making no great claims for the writing quality... but then I read THE VITAL ABYSS (first-person induced-sociopathic Protogen researcher in prison) and it seems actually really well written? Is this Stockholm syndrome?

Anyway, very much enjoying this series and hanging out for the return of the TV version.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 9 December 2019 01:28 (one year ago) link

fuckin' Marco

Oh my god. First they give Ashford some real depth on the show, then, well, you know. I'll be looking forward to Marco eating it.

I wonder if they're going to continue to give TV Drummer book Pa's threads and have her join with Marco, which I hope not, but given that her current whereabouts are unclear...

Martialarts Ali (Leee), Monday, 16 December 2019 21:49 (one year ago) link

I'm curious whether Filip's ever going to be seen again in the books. I'd be cool with it either way -- he got the exit he deserved

mh, Monday, 16 December 2019 22:08 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Miller dies.

As he does in the TV version, I just found out. I guess maybe you were reading the first novel in between S1 and S2?

He POLLS So Much About These Zings (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 3 October 2021 22:29 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

The final book is out at the end of the month but I want it NOW

mh, Tuesday, 2 November 2021 18:09 (one month ago) link

Miller dies.

As he does in the TV version, I just found out. I guess maybe you were reading the first novel in between S1 and S2?

He (or "he") dies twice in the books.

Leee Tigre (Leee), Tuesday, 2 November 2021 18:11 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Just a week till Leviathan Falls comes out, and I find myself in the situation I always find myself in when a new one drops: not remembering what happened in the preceding book. What do people use for quick capsule summaries, preferably shorter than e.g. https://expanse.fandom.com/wiki/Tiamat%27s_Wrath?

Nelleee Hooper (Leee), Wednesday, 24 November 2021 00:19 (one week ago) link

I don't have a go-to for plot recaps but the wikipedia summary is much more manageable. I'm really excited for this last book

Vinnie, Wednesday, 24 November 2021 01:11 (one week ago) link

Just picked up the first book today, will give it a whirl

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Wednesday, 24 November 2021 01:12 (one week ago) link

Thanks Vinnie, I will check out the WP recap.

Moodles, I found the first book to be sloggy, and IMO it takes a few books for them to hit their pacing stride, although when they do (IMO book 3), you will feel TEH BURN.

Nelleee Hooper (Leee), Wednesday, 24 November 2021 01:23 (one week ago) link

I've just reread books 7 & 8 earlier this month so am good to go xps

There was one massive plot point I'd completely forgotten so glad i did:

I remembered Amos getting killed but had somehow completely forgotten the fact the protomolecule repair dog things bring him back

groovypanda, Wednesday, 24 November 2021 08:04 (one week ago) link

Out today!

Nelleee Hooper (Leee), Tuesday, 30 November 2021 21:11 (two days ago) link

Already reading it, definitely needed to reread the Expanse wiki summary of book 8 to remind myself where we were up to.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 1 December 2021 00:41 (yesterday) link

LEVIATHAN FALLS

I finished it. Some good stuff in there!

mh, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 18:21 (yesterday) link

Jeez! When did you start reading??

Nelleee Hooper (Leee), Wednesday, 1 December 2021 18:43 (yesterday) link

Got about an hour in before work yesterday, long lunch, late evening. Then cheated and half-paid attention to a meeting today.

It’s a bit light on one of the main plot threads when it comes to the the reappearance of an antagonist, but imo it’s not really their story anymore so I’m willing to let that go

mh, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 18:52 (yesterday) link


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