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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Persepolis Rising (The Expanse 7)

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse) - James S. A. Corey

Someone asked what I thought of this right after I finished, and my short answer was that the amount of time spent with weird, alien stuff in this one is great, but I'm kind of over the characters. And that is true, but not complete.


My longer response is that this is at least the third book I've read this year about a fascist regime taking over, and it's by far the most successful implementation of this becoming-standard-to-me plot structure. Possibly because, in spite of growing weary of some characters over time, I'm actually already invested in the people and existing political structures and the book doesn't have to spend a lot of time building investment in a reader who knows everything is going to shit at the same time. Especially in a year where real people and institutions I care about are under attack from my own fucking government.


I only have so much bandwidth, but I found some to spare for this. I was rewarded with big ideas, weird alien shit, great characters, and a Tom Stoppard reference. I rarely make it more than a few books into a series, and these aren't small books. There is only one POV character that I was done with almost as soon as he was introduced, but on the balance that works out just fine. And if that's the trade off for having Drummer as a POV character, fine. 


Also, a nice part of making it this far in a series is seeing payoffs for long standing questions. For some of the alien tech, and for a particular "how would that go" that's been hanging out there since book 2. 


On the other hand, I am kind of done with Holden, Alex, and Naomi, and running out of fucks to give for Amos. It isn't even dislike so much as familiarity becoming predictability. They've been the same people in the same roles since early in the first book. And I have failed to warm up to Clarissa. It really is for the best for me that have fewer and fewer POV chapters as the series goes on. 


Overall, a solid installment in a solid series with quite a bit to look forward to in the next volume.