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Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse) by James S. A.…

Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse) (edition 2013)

by James S. A. Corey (Author)

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1,373628,516 (4.01)61
Title:Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse)
Authors:James S. A. Corey (Author)
Info:Orbit (2013), Edition: First Paperback Edition, 576 pages
Collections:Your library, Complete, Recent, Kindle, Novel, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fiction, Virtual
Tags:Science Fiction, SF Novel, Complete, Books of 2016

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Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey



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I continue to enjoy reading The Expanse. It might not have the literary complexity of, say, the Ancillary series, but Corey's prose is effectively straightforward, the story is interesting and moves in unexpected directions, the characters are (mostly) well drawn, and the themes are more complex than a book of this type arguably requires. Do you like book about interesting, mostly well-meaning, people doing things in space? Then this is the book for you, and it's definitely the book for me. Parts of Abaddon's Gate make it the strongest Expanse novel yet: a real sense of scale and the unknown, and the complexity of the characters of Rachel and Melba. I liked Rachel a lot; she's in an action series, but her power as person doesn't come from her combat abilities, but her ability to talk to others empathetically. It's very well done, and I hope she pops up again in future installments.

Parts of Abaddon's Gate also make it the weakest Expanse novel yet: the crew of the Rocinante, aside from Holden, are sidelined for much of the book. That's not necessarily a fault of the book, but of my expectations; they're the main characters of the tv show, but they were never the main characters in the novels. It's interesting how the point-of-view characters rotate. Book one gave us Holden and Miller; book two Holden, Avasarala, Draper, and Meng; and now book three Holden, Bull, Rachel, and Melba. Holden is the constant but everyone else changes. But Naomi, Amos, and Alex are never among the point-of-view characters; it's not them who have the emotional arcs, so why would I see a lot of them? Still, I want to, and I hope book four uses them more than this book did. The other thing that bothered me is that Bull is interesting at first, but kind of fades in interest as the novel proceeds; he felt like he was selected as a POV character for plot reasons, not because the character himself was intrinsically interesting. (Also, isn't it odd that most of the "good" OPA characters are not native Belters? It feels very "white savior" in an allegorical sense.)

So, altogether a quick read despite its length that kept me interested and also has me interested for the next book. Good twists and turns, and interesting challenges.
  Stevil2001 | Jun 14, 2019 |
A little more sluggish in its storytelling than the first two books in the series but the events of this book mark a turning point in the saga and align pretty well with the 3rd season of the TV series. ( )
  bookappeal | Jun 11, 2019 |
I do not think I have read a book series before which have gone from really great to really disappointing in one go like this one just did. There is nothing wrong with the writing itself. It is as good as before. It is the content, the story itself, which is simply disappointing as far as I am concerned.

Apart from Holden and his crew all the nice characters from the previous book like Bobby and the likable bitch Avasarala are gone. The new ones introduced are nowhere near those that we lost in terms of interest and often downright annoying. Miller was brought back but he is not really the old Miller, not surprisingly, and more of a tool than an interesting character.

I was hoping that we would get more into the mystery of the protomolecule device and of course it plays an important part in the story but more as a piece of background or a prop than the centerpiece that I hoped it would. The events in the book are, at least initially, driven by a crazy and fanatical relative to the bad guy Mao from the previous book and who wants to both kill and discredit Holden for revenge. I was not too crazy about that from the start. Once her plan get going things goes bad rather quickly.

As if this revenge business was not bad enough the author drags in a useless as well as volatile and half-crazy captain, appointed for pretty much nothing but political reasons, and a whole bunch of more or less fanatical religious people. The latter was really dragging down the book for me.

Unfortunately the religious fanatics play a big role in the events in the latter half of the book and, not surprisingly, they cause things to go from bad to worse. Even the good ones of these priests and clerics is really ruining the book with their constant nonsensical preaching about how there were still some good in person x and person y etc. etc. and how we should try to talk to him instead of using violence. The maniac(s) are on the verge of, possibly, exterminating the human race for Christ sake! Just push the f-ckers out of a bloody airlock and be done with it.

I have to say that I am probably not really capable of giving a un-biased, possibly not even a fair, review of this book since I am so disappointed with it, especially given how much I liked the previous ones. It is a well written book. Those of you who liked the previous ones should probably have a go at this one as well. I did not like it but that is because of personal taste more than anything.
( )
  perjonsson | Jun 10, 2019 |
James S.A. Corey’s Abaddon’s Gate continues the Expanse series, picking up shortly after the events of Caliban’s War . Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have gained a measure of success as a ship-for-hire, only to find their work threatened when Mars claims the ship isn’t legitimate salvage. They take a job ferrying a documentary crew to accompany the Earth, Mars, and Outer Planets Alliance fleets to investigate the Ring the protomolecule built beyond the orbit of Uranus. Meanwhile, Clarissa Mao, the sister of Julie Mao, works to avenge her family’s fallen fortunes by destroying Holden and his crew’s reputation. Among the Earth fleet are several religious representatives, including Annushka “Anna” Volovodov, who seeks to discover how the Ring will change humanity’s perception of the universe. On the Behemoth, formerly the Nauvoo, Carlos “Bull” c de Baca wants to keep things running smoothly amid all the political tensions at the Ring. What the ships find on the other side of the Ring has grave implications for humanity.

Corey, the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank, continues to use the series to examine the nature of humanity. In a chapter from Anna’s point of view, they write, “Show a human a closed door, and no matter how many open doors she finds, she’ll be haunted by what might be behind it… If humanity were capable of being satisfied, then they’d all still be living in trees and eating bugs out of one another’s fur. Anna had walked on a moon of Jupiter. She’d looked up through a dome-covered sky at the great red spot, close enough to see the swirls and eddies of a storm larger than her home world. She’d tasted water thawed from ice as old as the solar system itself. And it was that human dissatisfaction, that human audacity, that had put her there” (pg. 337). Further, Holden reflects on his experiences, “When he thought back to the man he’d been before the death of the Cant, he remembered a man filled with righteous certainty. Right was right, wrong was wrong, you drew the lines thus and so. His time with Miller had stripped him of some of that. His time working for Fred Johnson had, if not removed, then filed down what remained. A sort of creeping nihilism had taken its place. A sense that the protomolecule had broken the human race in ways that could never be repaired. Humanity had gotten a two-billion-year reprieve on a death sentence it hadn’t known it had, but time was up” (pg. 479).

Abaddon’s Gate continues one of the best space opera series in fiction. The technology isn’t too far advanced to be unfamiliar and Abraham and Frank explain the basic concepts, but the human drama drives this story more than the Epstein Drive. Abraham has written and collaborated on several adventure and graphic novels while Frank is George R.R. Martin’s personal assistant. Together, they craft a story that, for lack of a better description, is the Game of Thrones for sci-fi fans. Their evocative writing perfectly sets the tone. The grand scope easily leant itself to Syfy’s television series, The Expanse, with the third season serializing this novel. A must-read for sci-fi fans! ( )
  DarthDeverell | May 29, 2019 |
Apesar do meu amor por Ficção Científica, só descobri mais tarde o que era uma Space Opera. Para mim, Guerra das Estrelas, Star Trek e Mass Effect, apesar de terem civilizações avançadas, humanidade espalhada pela galáxia e extra terrestres, eram todos muito distintos. Pelo menos na minha cabeça. É por isso que até agora não consigo encaixar The Expanse como Space Opera embora o seja.
É provavelmente este o motivo que leva leitores que não gostem deste género a gostarem desta saga. Não puxa tanto pela fantasia e não requer que se memorize dezenas de raças alienígenas e a forma como vivem, nem com quem andam na guerra e que planetas com nomes estranhos foram conquistados.

Antes pelo contrário, The Expanse tem em conta as leis reais da gravidade ou falta dela, propulsão das naves, velocidade e a sua relação com os seres vivos no espaço. Quando chega o momento em que todas estas leis são desafiadas graças ao elemento extra terrestre, não somos bombardeados com problemas de lógica, mas temos uma noção ambos física e emocional das consequências, agarrando-nos pela curiosidade inata do leitores.

“Continuo avisar-te. Portas e cantos, miúdo. É onde eles te apanham. Humanos são estúpidos como um raio para ouvir. Bem, tu vais aprender essa lição em breve, e não é o meu trabalho cuidar a espécie nos próximos passos.”

Enquanto as obras que mencionei acima (com exceção de Guerra das Estrelas, talvez) têm uma perspetiva utópica da nossa civilização, onde nos unimos para explorar a galáxia com motores intergalácticos que andam a foguetes e arco-íris, Abbadon’s Gate continua bem assente na psicologia evolucionária, ou “Natureza Humana”. Cada governo tem de agir de acordo com a sua ambição e perceção exterior e dentro de cada um destes, existem organizações com agendas próprias que usam grupos de forma a estabelecer território de forma indireta mas invasiva. Mas todos estes são compostos por humanos e toda a sua bagagem emocional e pessoal, formando pequenos elementos selvagens e imprevisíveis. Lobos solitários no meio de bandos de mamíferos. É realisticamente impossível ter controle sobre tudo isto, e é a base de conflito que decorre durante o livro.

Vejamos, um Anel formou-se no espaço, sem intenções transparentes maliciosas ou benevolentes, existe a oportunidade de nos unirmos para defender a espécie ou expandi-la, e no entanto só o medo em alguns força-nos a tomar medidas drásticas enquanto a ambição de outros força o mesmo. Faz lembrar uma ferradura onde ideologias opostas eventualmente se interligam.
James Holden tem medo da Protomolecule, por isso tenta arranjar contratos o mais longe possível de tudo relacionado com ela, embora eventos o forcem a ir até lá. Entretanto, uma frota de naves da Terra e Marte tomam controle a volta do Anel para pesquisas inovadoras e ficar de olho no que os outros fazem. Ainda temos a OPA com interesse de ser reconhecido como uma força legítima no Sistema Solar.
Dentro destes, artistas e representantes religiosos de todos os tipos estão presentes para analisar, comentar e debater sobre a ocorrência para manter a população ocupada e não se preocuparem com os desastres recentes e o que pode vir ainda, de certeza, acontecer.
Por último, um lobo solitário ignora todo o grande quadro e só se preocupa em vingança, mesmo que implique matar inocentes.

O que há de novo?

Temos mais pontos de visão, que ao início parecem ser um bocadinho a mais, mas o salto entre eles tem bons pontos de referência que nos evita perder o fio.
Oficialmente começamos com Holden, agora independente, procurando contratos para continuar a ganhar dinheiro e pagar a uma tripulação que agora é oficial e não só um grupo de amigos a tentar sobreviver.

Bull é um mexicano, Chefe de Segurança da OPA, responsável por manter a ordem e a paz. A princípio fiquei dúbio da sua necessidade no decorrer da história, mas essa ideia mudou eventualmente por mudar e tornar-se não só indispensável, como o grande mediador entre todos os envolvidos no livro. É alguém que passei a adorar e começou a ser um dos meus favoritos. Não é um Avassarala, mas é a comparação mais bruta mas verdadeira que consigo fazer.

Melba é um lobo solitário fixada a caçar Holden. Como todos os outros, acaba por ter o seu uso, mas tornou-se um misto de simbolismo, história interessante e um engenho para manter a narração para a frente. Ainda me perguntei se tirássemos Melba, os acontecimentos seriam muito diferentes.

Anna é uma pastora metodista escolhida para presenciar e debater sobre o Anel, contextualizando-os com Deus e o que significa para a fé. É uma boa mudança de ares, também porque não cai no estereotipo de crise de fé nem no de líder de culto do mal. Ela faz exatamente o que promete nas primeiras impressões, que é contextualizar os acontecimentos e estar ativa na fé, na congregação e ser a bússola moral do livro. Para os mais niilistas, ela pode parecer como extremamente ingénua, mas não é estúpida e procura (indiretamente) apostar no cavalo certo.

Apesar de Holden continuar a ser o centro das atenções e o que acontece a volta dele (ou por causa dele), ser o ponto de reviravolta desde o início da saga, sinto que em Abbadon’s Gate ele deixou de ser o personagem principal mas mais como um ancião que está a dar luz a todos os outros. Mesmo os capítulos dele sentem-se mais curtos, embora mudem a direção do jogo político. Creio mesmo que quem corre mais tinta seja Bull, e é ele o homem da partida.


Abbadon’s Gate continua a ser, no fundo, uma saga política no espaço que continua a testar a capacidade de unificação humana perante o desconhecido, cheio de simbolismo das consequências do medo e húbris. Baseia-se no que sabemos hoje em dia sobre a física, sem ser muito pretensioso, e mistura bem os elementos totalmente fictícios. Qualidade mantém-se e tem pontos que continuam a agarrar os leitores, embora sofra como em os anteriores, de um início algo lento. Mas desta vez começa a compensar mais cedo, e os pontos de ação e intriga continuam a prender e ser excitantes.

Não é utópico nem distópico. Não é positivista nem negativista. Tem simplesmente um progresso muito real do que se espera de um ambiente político e geográfico bem estabelecido, com agendas muito próprias. Nas ultimas páginas ainda ficamos com um senso de esperança que abre portas para a continuação da saga e da expansão do Homem no espaço. ( )
  Igor_Veloso | May 12, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James S. A. Coreyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benshoff, KirkCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dociu, DanielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Walter Jon Williams, who showed us how to do it, and for Carrie Vaughn, who made sure we didn't screw it up too badly
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Manéo Jung-Espinoza—Néo to his friends back on Ceres Station—huddled in the cockpit of the little ship he'd christened the Y Que.
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An alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has emerged to build a massive structure outside the orbit of Uranus: a gate that leads into a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artefact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core.… (more)

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