So James S.A. Corey’s Persepolis Rising, the latest (seventh?) Expanse novel, does precisely what you’d expect at this point in the series, which is: 1) advance the plot in a big way; 2) but also in a way you almost certainly didn’t see coming.

Particularly surprising here is that it starts off with a pretty big time-jump, with thirty years or so passing from the end of the last book. This is actually a little weird, because on the one hand a bunch of stuff has changed and everything’s different; but on the other hand, some stuff hasn’t really changed, and is less different than you’d think it ought to be.

But then, that’s kind of the whole thing with books in series, right: You want just enough change for each book to feel new and interesting and not stale, but not so much change that the book feels too far away from what you look to that series for. (Whenever the Aubrey-Maturin books got away from naval action for too long, it started getting a bit weird, for instance.) And the things you look for in an Expanse book are still here—the found family of the Rocinante, political intrigue, cosmic mystery, and maybe even some fighting.

This is a great series, and while you obviously shouldn’t jump on with this book, you should definitely read it if you somehow haven’t.


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