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Babylon's Ashes

(The Expanse #6)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  32,856 ratings  ·  2,004 reviews
The sixth novel in James S. A. Corey's New York Times bestselling Expanse series--now a major television series from Syfy!

A revolution brewing for generations has begun in fire. It will end in blood.
The Free Navy - a violent group of Belters in black-market military ships - has crippled the Earth and begun a campaign of piracy and violence among the outer planets. The col
ebook, 544 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Orbit
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Tim People are just rating their excitement over its eventual release. But sometimes advanced readers copies are released early (to book reviewers and…morePeople are just rating their excitement over its eventual release. But sometimes advanced readers copies are released early (to book reviewers and book sellers...I read Leviathan wakes five months before its release date)(less)
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,856 ratings  ·  2,004 reviews

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Two stars is not awful, but it's a definite step down from the ratings I gave to earlier books in the series like Cibola Burn and Nemesis Games. So was this book, sadly. It's not bad, but it's not nearly as good as I was hoping for.

What went wrong?

1. The villain is lame

Marko is the bad guy. In the last book, he destroyed the Earth and killed 15,000,000,000 human beings. In this book, he is the world's least competent military commander and basically just an insecure, loser ex-boyfriend. He doesn
Re-Read 11/14/18:
I am still loving the series and I still love this book in particular.

Civil War. Gotta love and hate it. Love it if we're not living IN IT. But overall... what a nightmare. Especially after what happened to the Earth. This is basically the end of the Solar System. Any kind of future we will have will be ELSEWHERE. :) As we soon see.

Otherwise, I think I said everything else I wanted to say in my previous review. :)

Original Review:

Reading this series is always like coming home to


Barnes & Noble review:
Kevin Kelsey
Posted at Heradas Review

Let me start by saying, if you’re 6 books into an ongoing series like this, then I’m going to assume you’re in it for the long haul, and I think you’ll enjoy the hell out of this one too.

James S.A. Corey (Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham) refer to their Expanse series as 3 duologies and a trilogy (forthcoming books 7, 8, and 9) to cap it all off. Leviathan Wakes/Caliban’s War tell a fairly contained story about the protomolecule in the style of noir and political thriller res
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, space, expanse, 2016
“My life has become a single on-going revelation that I haven’t been cynical enough.”

This is the kind of cheery thought one is apt to have when facing a narcissistic megalomaniac who has gained power by convincing some people that all their problems can be blamed on other groups while setting humanity on a self-destructive path it may not be able to recover from.

Geez, I thought I read science-fiction to escape reality.

The Expanse series took an epic dark turn in the last one, and this book is ma
Hannah Greendale
Babylon's Ashes is a galactic bore. There hasn't been a book this monotonous in the Expanse Series since Caliban's War.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Expanse has become one of my favorite series in recent years, and it is no exaggeration to say that it has only gotten better with every new book. Of course, the one problem with this pattern is that it works much like gravity—what goes up must come down, after all. And yet, I say this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, I’d argue that after a major plot event, it’s important to dial things back a bit
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[3.5 stars] Babylon’s Ashes is what I’m calling the “stepping stone” novel of the series. Its purpose was to wrap up fallout from the events that happened in the amazingness that was Nemesis Games and set up for what’s to come in Persepolis Rising (which doesn’t have a release date yet, but I’m wagering sometime around December 2017). Because it felt more like a transition novel, I didn’t rate it quite as highly as others in the series. Comparatively, especially coming off of Nemesis Games (poss ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Babylon’s Ashes has an unusual structure for an Expanse novel, even if you factor in the unusual structure of the previous novel, Nemesis Games. While Nemesis Games is built around a single event that occurs about halfway through, much of the first half is tied to the intriguing mystery that leads to it. There is also the added novelty of the POV chapters including all the members of the Roci, and the opportunity to snatch a glimpse of their inner lives as individuals, rather than simply underst ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Executive Summary: This is the second book in a row I've given one of my rare 5-star ratings to, and the second year in a row that an Expanse book is my favorite read. If you haven't given this series a look yet, you really should!

Audiobook: Jefferson Mays once again does a great job. He reads with good inflection, volume and pace. He does a few voices for the characters, including an excellent job with Avasarala. This is definitely a series I plan to continue in audio so long as he's the narrat

“Do we have a plan?” “A couple,” Jim said. “Either of them good?” “Oh, no. Not at all. Just different flavors of terrible.”

As many have commented, this instalment felt like a straight continuation of the previous book. Nothing wrong with that mind you. On the contrary, I very much enjoyed it :O)

The authors bring back characters from all the previous novels in this narration, some only for a chapter or two, but all offering important points of view of the mess that is the Solar system: Earth
Mark Medina
Stuck in the slow zone

I really liked all the books in this series up until now. Unfortunately, it has come to a grinding halt with this one. The things that made the series great are missing. Previously we had fast paced, almost breathless action. Frightening alien technology, and spooky detective Miller. Morally questionable leaders and political machinations worthy of game of thrones. Ethical dilemmas, mixed in with dramatic set piece battles and Bobbie in power armour beating the hell out of
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 6th volume in the series offers a much more scattered look at the solar system than the previous volumes. Which is to say, we get many more different POVs than usual. And for good reason. Because humanity is broken, fractured like a crystal vase that has been dropped to the hard floor.

Earth has not only been attacked but almost destroyed by the so-called Free Navy in the last book and the humans of Earth are still trying to come to terms with that. It is the only habitable planet in the sys
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars!
Oh where to begin?!
Back into the world of The Expanse. It is great to be back reading about our erstwhile crew again and I was interested in seeing how this story developed given that the protomolucule part of the plot was stalled. For me, this is a solid 4 stars but no where near the 5 stars that I come to expect from the series. I can't help feel that some of the writing now is tailoring toward making the tv show easier to portray. I few decisions on team dynamics are interesting and m
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
*** 4.25 ***

Nothing lasts forever...

"...“We’re not people,” he said. “We’re the stories that people tell each other about us. Belters are crazy terrorists. Earthers are lazy gluttons. Martians are cogs in a great big machine.” “Men are fighters,” Naomi said, and then, her voice growing bleak. “Women are nurturing and sweet and they stay home with the kids. It’s always been like that. We always react to the stories about people, not who they really are.” “And look where it got us,” Holden said.
While this is technically the sixth book in the excellent Expanse series I view it more like book 5.5 as it is the continuation of Nemesis Game. It has all the same cast of characters and immediately continues the story while all the other books in the series had a time jump between them as well as a unique plot line. This is by no means a knock to this book as the story it and Nemesis Game was trying to tell needs an expansive space (see what I did there) to do it justice.

First off this was a s
Scott  Hitchcock
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, expanse
Book 1: 5*
Book 2: 4.5*
Book 3: 4.25*
Book 4: 3.5*
Book 5: 4.5*
Book 6: 4*

A good follow up to the last book but the ending was rather abrupt and there wasn't the constant tension of Nemesis Games. Hopefully this be the start of something more prolonged and meaningful in other galaxies.

Avasarala is one of the best characters ever. I could read and entire perspective from her. I had the funny thought of her meeting some other classic characters like Glotka or Karsa Orlong and just how funny that would
“That’s the problem with things you can’t do twice,” Naomi said. “You can’t ever know how it would have gone if it had been the other way.”

“No. But you can say that if you don’t do something different it’ll happen again, and again, and again, over and over until something changes the game.”

“Like the protomolecule?”

“It didn’t change anything,” Holden said. “Here we are, still doing all the same things we did before. We’ve got a bigger battleground. Some of the sides have shifted around. But it’s
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth book of the Expanse series and the end of the second sub-trilogy.

After the action from the previous book the situation in the Solar System is dire. Earth is in ruins, Mars is in trouble and the Belt is learning the hard way that the rule of the Free Navy led by Marco Inaros is rule by terrorists. Holden and his expanding crew are in the center of things as always and they're key parts of Avasarala's plans to hold things together. Along with Holden and his people we also get viewpoint c
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
its actually 3.5 stars for me, the lowest rating i have given to any of the books in this series, its not a bad book, it just felt like a filler book, like after how the book ended in the previous installment, the author felt like he had to finish the tale because he had to not because he wanted to and the story suffered, the narrative felt rushed and the time allotted to the new characters was too short to get you (the reader) to like them or even care for them , it got confusing at some point ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Babylon's Ashes neatly wraps everything up that was started in Nemesis Games and actually might be a good stopping point if you're tired of this series. I won't stop though, since the entire reason I'm reading this series is because I thought the blurb of Persepolis Rising sounded amazing!

It's a bit slower than the previous instalments and essentially a three star read with a four star ending. In my opinion there were too many POV characters and not enough Avasarala. She's one of my favourite ch
Kristen Richeal
I received this as a Goodreads giveaway. I felt it was very boring and considered bailing on this until I got to the half way mark. I would read more of this series but I hope for more action.
Tom Merritt
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read

I didn't want to finish it because I love being with the crew of the Rocinante so much. When's the next one?
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
3.5 stars

This rating is probably a bit misleading. Babylon's Ashes is a very solid entry in the series, but compared to the previous 5 books, my level of actual enjoyment was somewhat less. This felt like a book that tied up the storylines and moved characters into place rather than having it's own central story. That said, everything is now set up nicely for a new story direction to take off in book 7, Persepolis Rising.

Regardless of my thoughts on this particular book, The Expanse is a very w
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Four solid stars for an instalment that got us out of the pickle we were left in from the last book (well, at least politically - shame about that nice Earth we had, though) and somehow, even after six books, left me wanting more!
Oct 24, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This limited hardcover edition is numbered 363 of 574 copies produced and is signed by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck the authors of the book. Note: there are an additional 26 signed leather bound copies, housed in a custom tray case, comprising the lettered edition.

Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marcos Inaros and The Free Navy are wreaking havoc in an aggressive power play for control of the solar system.  Having dealt Earth a devastating blow at the conclusion of Nemesis Games, they now turn their attention to the Gates and the many colony ships venturing to new and undiscovered worlds.  As time is running short, Chrisjen Avasarala looks to the crew of the Rocinante for help.  Babylon’s Ashes is the sixth installment in the long-running Expanse series and you’d think that by now, they’ ...more
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Other books in the series

The Expanse (9 books)
  • Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)
  • Caliban's War (The Expanse, #2)
  • Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse, #3)
  • Cibola Burn (The Expanse, #4)
  • Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5)
  • Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7)
  • Tiamat's Wrath (The Expanse, #8)
  • Untitled (The Expanse, #9)
“I thought if you told people facts, they'd draw their conclusions, and because the facts were true, the conclusions mostly would be too. But we don't run on facts. We run on stories about things. About people.” 24 likes
“Do we have a plan?”
“A couple.” Jim said.
“Either of them good?”
“Oh, no. Not at all. Just different flavors of terrible.”
More quotes…