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Gods of Risk

(The Expanse #2.5)

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  11,894 ratings  ·  686 reviews
As tension between Mars and Earth mounts, and terrorism plagues the Martian city of Londres Nova, sixteen-year-old David Draper is fighting his own lonely war. A gifted chemist vying for a place at the university, David leads a secret life as a manufacturer for a ruthless drug dealer. When his friend Leelee goes missing, leaving signs of the dealer's involvement, David ...more
Kindle Edition, 68 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2012)
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Maryann Fläsch It is just filler as it isn't totally connected to the global plot of the protomolecule but it gives some insight into the unchanging state of…moreIt is just filler as it isn't totally connected to the global plot of the protomolecule but it gives some insight into the unchanging state of humanity and how even if you put people on another planet, you'll never eliminate addiction, crime, mental illness, abuse, poverty and all the other treatable conditions of humanity unless we had a drastic shift from the "don't judge my lifestyle choice" culture to one where unhealthy acting out and the intergenerational transmission of trauma is no longer tolerated and treated like the mental health pandemic that it is.

To me, this story shows that despite leaps and bounds in technological advancement, humanity evolves sociologically just as slowly as ever and it is both depressing in that the reality of malfunctioning brain biology will most likely not be taken seriously for hundreds of years (from today, in the real world) but there will always be a 5% that will carry the other 95% of broken humanity out even to the stars. (less)
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Choko
*** 3 ***

This is a short story set in the colonized parts of Mars, and is told from the POV of Bobby 's teenage nephew. He is everything every teenager is, most prevalently rules by hormones and obsession with a girl who has shown some interest in him and has a lot of issues. He is smart, very good student, but naive and wants to be a grownup already, acting like a brat with his family and risking his life for the promise of some nookie... This story had very little to do with the overall arc of
...more
Lori
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's like a really good after school special.
Scott  Hitchcock
3.5*'s

Of all the novellas in this series this one took me the longest to get into. All of the characters were detached and thus it was hard to really connect with them. Even Bobby who I really liked in the last book. At the end it picked up and was a decent read in a great series.
Kemper
David Draper is a hard working chemistry student who has started a sideline cooking up narcotics for a shady dealer. Since this is happening in the future on Mars I guess we can finally declare defeat in the War on Drugs, right?

It’s weird that I only realized while reading this that while Mars has been a big part of The Expanse series with a couple of major characters being born on the red planet, that we actually haven’t spent much time there in the books. The most interesting aspect of David’s
...more
Trish
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fourth novella is a bit different as it's not an "origin story", which means it's not showing events from the past.
Instead, it takes place immediately after book 2. We follow Bobbie (freshly out of the Martian Marines) home to Londres Nova, where she is staying with one of her brothers and his family for now. Thus, we also meet her nephew David, who is a cook - and not in the culinary way. While the situation on Mars gets more and more critical thanks to terrorists blowing structures and
...more
Becky
"You're a tough guy, but I'm a nightmare wrapped in the apocalypse."

I've slowly but surely been making my way through this series, and I'm loving it. These little side stories do add a little something to the main series, and in this case, that something was a deeper liking of Roberta Draper. I liked her in Caliban's War well enough, but not as much as I wanted to. But now I've had some distance from Caliban's War, and in my mind, she's taken on kind of a mythical badassery, and that, combined
...more
Bradley
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2018-shelf
Decent story on Mars featuring Bobby's nephew and a little of Bobby, too.

It's good for context, worldbuilding, and a bit of a thrill for any of us missing our Breaking Bad... on Mars. :)

It may not be my favorite side-story in the Expanse series, but it's definitely written fun and pulls off a feel-good twist.

Of course, it might have been a bit more appropriate to have it turn into a tragedy. But. Alas. That's how the meth dropped.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
[7/10]

“They don’t hate us,” Bobbie said, her voice tired. “They’re afraid of us.”
“Then why do they act like they hate us,” David’s father said with something like triumph.
“Because that’s what fear looks like when it needs something to go.”


Prophetic words that remind us science-fiction is often about seeing trends in current societies and ringing the alarm bells. This novella was written in 2012, when signs of the problems created by growing fascist movements in Western countries were already
...more
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[3.5 stars] Probably my least favorite Expanse novella so far (I only have the newest one left. I read them out of order), but I ended up appreciating it more than I thought I would.
Emily
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story, sci-fi
Well that was anti-climatic and rather "meh". Bobbie is barely in the story and you don't really gain any insight about her. You can safely skip this one and not miss out on anything in the main novels.
Lata
Interesting window into a bit of Mars life, through David’s (Bobbie Draper’s nephew) experiences as a drug dealer’s chemist. David has a good working relationship with the drug dealer and is frustrated by his family, and particularly by Bobbie’s presence in their home, with some odd and possibly embarrassing situation hovering over her. David is also close to getting into a good program in higher education, when he decides to help a young woman who has a relationship of some sort with the drug ...more
Ashley
"It was like his parents had suddenly realized he wouldn't be there forever, and now their love was like a police state; he couldn't escape it."

David Draper, the sixteen year old nephew of Bobbie Draper, is a self-entitled little piece of shit.

I have very little patience for intelligent children with loving families who live in stable economic situations, and yet they still insist on being angry little assholes. This is David, a gifted chemist who lives on Mars, and who is headed for great
...more
Paz R.M.
Have you ever wanted to punch a character? Like reeeally punch a fictional character in the face and tell them to shut the fuck up and grow up?
Yeah, that was me. And I know David was a 16 years old angsty teenager, but he might not only be the worst character written in this series so far, this is one of the worst teenager character I've ever read. And guys... I've read my fair share of YA. So that's saying a lot.

This novella does practically nothing to expand (ha-ha, get it? cause the series is
...more
William
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A superb back-story from The Expanse series. The author has written back-stories to most of the main characters and events, and each of them is wonderful and insightful. A must-read if you love The Expanse.

This is a very good back-story for Bobbie Draper. Quite wonderful.
Efka
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
It doesn't matter, if the underworld we speak of is Martian, or Earthian, they both are equally dark, grim and oppressive. But meeting Bobbie one more time still was a pleasure, even though she's more of a support character here, not a protagonist.
Eric
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m on record as being a big fan of James S.A. Corey’s (the pen name used by Daniel Abraham (Twitter) and Ty Franck) Expanse series, so I eagerly read the novella GODS OF RISK in advance of their next novel ABADDON’S GATE. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this was the weakest entry in the Expanse series.

GODS OF RISK takes place on Mars when tensions are growing between it and Earth. Bobbie Draper is present in the story, but she is a peripheral character. The protagonist is David Draper, her
...more
Aaron
A side story that takes place some time after Caliban's War and focuses on David Draper, the nephew of Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper who has just returned from a harrowing mission. David is 15 and one of Mars's bright young chemists, except he has a little drug cooking operation on the side. David increasingly feels his academic and underworld halves colliding and begins making some dangerous choices in order to ensure the safety of those he cares about.

I'm oversimplifying things, but Gods of
...more
Adam
Review of the audiobook narrated by Erik Davies.

I will stand corrected if David Draper shows up in a future book, but other than for the development of his character, this is a novella that doesn't feel necessary. Sure, we do get a snapshot of how humans have colonized Mars which is interesting and thought provoking, but there are no real new insights into the one character we already know, Bobbie, due to her limited role.

As with the rest of the series, I love the writing. The style and prose
...more
Jim C
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story that is part of a series. The other books before this one must be read before this one. In this one, Bobbie is back home living with her brother and his family. Bobbie's nephew, David, is a "cook" for a local drug lord and he gets into trouble.

I believe this short story isn't vital to the overall arc that takes place in this universe. For the overall story arc it does provide the atmosphere of Mars which we haven't really touched upon so far in this series. As for the
...more
Kevin Kelsey
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
A solid little side story told from a young adult POV. It doesn't shy away from the hardships and ugly truths of being a kid in an uncertain world. It reminded me quite a bit of my teenage years growing up in a small town, with nothing to do but get into all sorts of trouble.
Tom Mathews
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Expanse series
This novella gives us a great view into GySgt Bobbie Draper, one of my favorite Expanse characters, and her life at home on Mars following the events described in Caliban's War.
James
Another short story from the Orbit Short Fiction line. As with so many of these titles, Orbit haven't yet bothered to make this one available to UK readers – luckily there are always ways around that. Whereas The Butcher of Anderson Station was explaining a part of the back story to Leviathan Wakes ; Gods of Risk is almost totally unrelated to the larger story arcs. Instead we are treated to the tale of Bobbie's, somewhat annoying, nephew. Set on Mars after the events of Caliban's War , ...more
Rusty
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, my obsession with this Expanse universe continues. I continue to watch one of the 14 or so episodes that have already been broadcast almost daily. I’ve seen them all close to half a dozen times.

As such, I’ve been catching up on the novellas that take place between novels. I think I’ve read them all (one more after this one that I’ve yet to review) except maybe for the Butcher of Anderson Station. I’ve not avoided that one on purpose, but as it was interwoven into the fabric of Season 1 of
...more
Dara
If you're a fan of the Expanse series, you'll likely enjoy this short story but if you're looking for new insight or more background in the overall story, you'll be left wanting.

David is you're typical angsty teenager. He's involved in cooking drugs. Bobbie Draper is features some in this story but nothing you absolutely need to read. There's nothing new revealed about her character.

D+
Rob
Executive Summary: There were parts I enjoyed more than others. I think I like the way they used the core of this as the basis for parts of the 4th season of the show more than the story itself. 3.5 stars

Audiobook: I was never a huge fan of Jefferson Mays until he was unavailable for Cibola Burn and they replaced him with Erik Davies. They have since had him re-record that book, but not this novella. Mr. Davies is fine, but I'd rather they had Mr. Mays redo it. Maybe when the collection comes
...more
Valyssia Leigh
I don't really see the point.

Bobbie Draper (the character we're invested in) is literally relegated to the couch where she sits like a prop, lifting weights and watching the news. Her cousin, the protagonist of this story, is a piece of trash.

I don't buy Bobbie's blase reaction to his criminal activities. It seems to me she'd care that he's abusing his privilege in order to cook drugs. He earns a place at a prestigious school as a point in the plot. Talk about a fantastic way to blow your ride.
...more
Julie
Ehhh. With this one, I’m now caught up on the Expanse shorts, but unfortunately this was the longest and the dullest so far. Bobbie’s nephew David is an aggravating, sullen, self-centered teenager driven by his dick, and I found him infuriating to spend time with when I’d rather have spent this whole text with Bobbie instead.

Skippable.
Aoife
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

Fun look into an average human's life on Mars, and an environment where everything isn't life and death all the time but this was mostly just a story about a sullen teenager who had a crush on someone he couldn't have.
M.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
The authors never write any unimportant details. Hopefully, we'll see David in book eight or nine, playing a vital role.
Tim Mercer
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me this is a great novella. Detailed and intense, it is a coming of age story that is standalone in the Expanse series. Lots of teenage angst!
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Beyond Reality: The Expanse--Gods of Risk, Expanse #2.5 Short Fiction 4 11 May 15, 2018 08:46PM  

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“You’re a tough guy, but I’m a nightmare wrapped in the apocalypse.” 20 likes
“They don't hate us," Bobbie said, her voice tired. "They're afraid of us."

"Then why do they act like they hate us?" David's father said with something like triumph.

"Because that's what fear looks like when it needs someplace to go.”
4 likes
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