I recently finished this great space opera! James S. A. Corey is the pen-name of up-and-coming Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck who is fantasy luminary’s George R.R. Martin’s assistant. I really loved this book and finished it only about 5 days. It’s obvious from the first chapter that this about something other space, space ships, and people fighting in space. It takes a while for the story to unfold but it isn’t boring in the least. The story is the first of the Expanse series and takes place in between man taking to interstellar space and man colonizing the solar system. Many other space opera books take place before space travel or after/during interstellar exploration. I think it was a good choice to fall in between those because it makes the novel something different. The choice of utilizing two POV protagonists to tell the whole story was interesting and quite effective. So I’d recommend this novel highly to any sci-fi readers out there.
** Spoiler Alert for Readers and Writers **
Corey’s choice to use 2 protagonists as the only POV characters is an inspired one and is done quite well. Holloway is the liberal minded spacer who becomes a captain through circumstance. He clings to his people are good at heart views which cause quite a bit trouble for his crew and the rest of the solar system. He steadfastly refuses to change his views until later in the book. This sets up a great conflict with the other main protagonist Miller, a hard boiled cop who realizes sometimes the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do. Miller’s character arc is great because he really doesn’t undergo any change in his views and I think that is a great character arc and contrasts nicely with Holloway. The twin POVs work quite well, the spacer with his crew and the noir-ish cop chasing down leads on a kidnapped girl. I was concerned it would turn out like Count Zero by William Gibson with the characters not meeting until the end but they didn’t. Corey pulled it off quite well with the characters meeting about halfway through the book which is a great choice.
Special Bonus – the inclusion of horror in the first chapter that is explored more later.
I look forward to the next book in the series!