Lacer's Reviews > Babylon's Ashes

Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey
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it was ok

This one, book 6 in The Expanse series, is not as good as the other books so far. There are some very good bits in it, for example, I loved how one of the key battles was shown through the eyes of people watching it on a view feed, not at that moment directly involved in the battle but knowing (as they were on a space station right next to the battle) that the outcome would directly affect them, I thought that was a clever way of showing it, but, I don’t know, there are a lot of battles in this one and the bits in between just didn’t seem to piece the story together as well as The Expanse books normally do.

There was also an issue that I had a bit of a believability difficulty with the previous book, that was explored more fully in this book, and it was increasingly not that believable. I’m trying not to give spoilers here but basically, in book 5, a bad man who thinks he’s the hero, does an extremely bad thing, which, as he thinks of himself as the hero, he thinks is an extremely brilliant thing, and I get it, every villain is the hero of his own story etc. and this guy is a complete narcissist. In book 5, as the narrators were the crew of the Rocinante, the bad guy was the big bad villain and there was less exploration of why people were following the bad guy. It did feel odd, as in ‘why are people following this guy who is obviously a complete lunatic, why can’t they see that his plan is ultimately going to be a complete disaster, even if it works?’, book 5 didn’t go into that much detail about it and I was just happy to spend some time with my favourite spaceship crew. Book 6 is more narcissist bad guy but this time a lot of the narrators are people on his side and there was just this whole believability thing of how on earth do these people think what he’s doing is a good idea, why on earth haven’t they just sat down and thought things through? Okay part of the plot is people realising that the guy is an idiot but the fact that it took that long and after the guy had done something really really drastic?

The whole book though was an allegory for people getting all tribalistic and doing horrible things to people they think of as ‘other’, without thinking things through. Maybe that’s why this book annoyed me, I’m pretty sure that when it was written the authors weren’t thinking of Brexit, as it wouldn’t have happened when they were writing it (the book was published in 2016), but the whole thing was a very massive allegory for Brexit, there was even mention about supplies of medication. So spending a whole book with characters, who if they were here today in the UK, would probably think Tommy Robinson was talking sense, was not that pleasant.

Anyway, I will read the next one, a few clues were dropped in about where the story was going and it looks intriguing, I hoping for slightly less space battles, more alien stuff and less people who would give Boris Johnson a run for his money in the narcissist stakes.

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Reading Progress

August 19, 2019 – Started Reading
August 19, 2019 – Shelved
August 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
August 20, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
September 2, 2019 – Finished Reading

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