Book: The Expanse: Abaddon’s Gate
This took me a while to read. Two summers and then a couple of other vacations. I stopped watching Season 3 of the show because it was giving away from things that I had not read. I finished both in one day while home sick from work.
Book 2 ended with a corporate conspiracy of experimentation with alien tech on kids being exposes and an infestation of the protomolecule being stopped by the heroes. The massive protomolecule structure on Venus rose out of the Venusian clouds and travelled on its own to the outer planets near Uranus. It proceeds to build what we later learn in the third book is called the Ring – a massive gate-like structure with all kind of weird physics.
Abaddon’s Gate give away a lot of the final premise of the overall story arch with the title but with so many things in sci-fi rehashing old concepts, this was no surprise. It is how the basic gate trope was presented and interpreted that made it unique. It figured from the beginning that it was an ancient alien tech that had a purpose that human did not understand. And because they did not understand it, they feared it.
Yes, in the end, it is a gate of some kind to other worlds, giving humanity an opportunity to expand beyond their solar system. No, we did not have to create our own FTL drive, someone else long ago did it for us. And they left a lot of cool stuff behind for us to explore – which apparently they do in future books.
And of course, the true villains in this overall story are humans themselves, which ins also sort of a trope but done in a very relevant way in this books. This is no Federations, remember. We have not reached the altruistic Roddenberry-dream of perfect harmony and peace within humanity. We still have heroes, a**holes, greedy bastards, revenge seeking zealots and opportunists. And that’s the way I like it!
Each book has the central theme that I do like – we are stronger together then we are apart. But unfortunately, there is always a greedy bastard or crazy zealot that screws all that up. Such is humanity. This book builds on it even further and uses religion in a way that respects it and also accentuates it, but using one character as a beacon of faith – faith in humanity more so than a greater being, though and of course, there is a lot about this character the flies in the face of Christian Faith in general, but it was nice for them to have something about it in there.
Watching the show immediately after finishing the books really shows you how the trimmed the book down to be affordable on TV. There are way more people involved in the events at the end of the show than they could afford actors for, it’s obvious, The Bull character was replaced by the Drummer character from the previous book. While I understand some fo the choices they made, I would have liked to see the level of epic fighting that was in the book. Much more involved than displayed on the show.
What I like about this the most is that it takes the setting to a whole new level of epic story telling. Now we have a whole universe to explore. But what is there and what did they leave behind? Obviously, the next books (and season of the show) explore that,
This was a good third part to the series. I also highly recommend it.