Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More so than any other book in The Expanse series, Babylon’s Ashes is a direct sequel to the previous book, providing a satisfying climax to the Free Navy story line. If Nemesis Games was Empire Strikes Back, then Babylon’s Ashes is the Return of the Rocinante, as our crew gets a chance to fight back against Marcos.

Instead of focusing on four POV’s, as in previous books, Babylon’s Ashes seemingly has over a dozen, to its detriment. On the one hand we get to check in with folks like Avasarala, but do we really care about Prax, who has literally nothing to do (and was last seen in book 2), for at least 2 or 3 chapters?

Having too many POVs, many of them unnecessary, drags this book down to four stars. It’s also odd that the series has been fine completely forgetting about the protomolecule/alien plot for two whole books now, though ultimately the Free Navy plot is more compelling.

The real question is, do I stop reading this series, which does offer a satisfying conclusion at the end of this book. The next book represents a startling 28-year time jump to pick back up with the alien plot, and the TV series will end before that. For now, I’m satisfied leaving the crew here.

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