Review: Persepolis Rising

Posted: December 5, 2017 by in Books We Love (5/5 single_star) Meta: James S.A. Corey, Science Fiction

…and so here I am, writing a review for a book that I haven’t even received in the mail yet, and I realize just how upside-down the world has turned. I mean, YES, I was uber-excited to get the story early, but there’s just something that I miss about being able to turn the actual pages of a real book. The feel of the paper in my fingers, the visual cue of the turning of the page, the smell of it. It all just seems a bit MORE when I get the physical book. When I can see it on my shelf, sitting there staring back at me. For some reason, ebooks just make a story seem somehow… easier than they should. Less substantive. So am I over-exaggerating at all when I tell you I’m even more excited to get my actual book in the mail later tonight, on the date of “publication”, than I was to get the eARC I actually read? Not in the slightest. In fact, I may just have to start reading this one again. When I get home from work tonight. Just… you know… don’t tell my boss or anything. Cause I really should be reading the next book in my queue. 🙂

PERSEPOLIS RISING (Amazon) is the much anticipated seventh book in The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), and I’d by lying if I said that the first thing I did when receiving this one wasn’t finding the chapter list and seeing who the POVs for the book were going to be. Could. Not. Wait.

Nearly thirty years have passed since the uprising led by Marcos Inaros was defeated. A lot has happened since then, but our friends from the Rocinante have settled in nicely. Medina station, still located within the slow zone, has transitioned into the central hub of the worlds connecting the dandelion sky of portals surrounding it. Settlers are continuing to push out into the 1300 worlds available to them, and Medina, home of the Transport Union (TU), now acts as the port authority for travel and trade between them all. And the crew of the Rocinante is on their payroll.

Life has settled into a semblance of normalcy. Holden and his crew get sent out early to enforce some punitive action upon one of the colonies, Freehold, because of their history of repeatedly ignoring the rules of the TU. Soon after the crew’s return, however, the ring gate to the lost colony of Laconia beings to blare a concerning announcement: Prepare to receive our emissaries and our new role amongst humanity. That’s when things start to go south for the good guys.

Despite how immensely fun this whole series has been, I’ve still been champing at the bit to finally see where all of this protomolecule stuff is going to go. AND wondering how long it was going to take to see the crazy-big alien guns come out. The authors have been building toward this massive ending ever since things started in LEVIATHAN WAKES. That’s nearly the best part about this series. The authors have known exactly where they’re writing to since before they ever started, and everything that has come before this point in the series has been building to this point. And it doesn’t disappoint.

Characterization in this book was on point. In fact, it’s likely the best they’ve done in the series. There were so many moments that had me holding my breath, or whispering “no…”, and seriously tearing up. For the most part, we get Drummer (yes, Fred Johnson’s Drummer), Bobbie (Love it), Holden (Can’t do without him), and a Laconian, Santiago Jilie Singh.

Great writing. Brilliant character. Structured story. And A NOVEL EVERY YEAR. I mean, seriously. Who else will give you that? Check out PERSEPOLIS RISING.

Drummer was the political viewpoint of the story, and easily my least favorite. Then again, I’m not a fan of politics. She did, however, hold a trump card for me, and that was that she’s our connection to Avasarala in the story. An older, crankier, even more profane Avasarala than we’ve yet seen. Singh spends his time on Medina, and even though he was “the bad guy” in this story, he was also very sympathetic. Two cheers for the authors for being able to pull that off. Bobbie and Holden each take their turns, but near the last third of the book, we also get POV time from the rest of the crew of the Rocinante. And man, those chapters don’t pull any punches. Seriously good stuff.

I also have to mention the pacing and tension. Franck and Abraham did their due diligence in these categories too. The “time bombs” (33 days until… 108 hours until…) that the Laconians used to build fear in the hearts of their enemies translated perfectly into the story and my head. There was such an overpowering feeling of dread in the thoughts and actions of the heroes and leaders to which we are privy. Very well built, and very well revealed.

I’m having difficulty believing that I’m done reading it, and now I’ll have to wait another year for book 8. I mean, I’ll wait without complaint. Sure. Probably give the series a re-read at some point before then. The story in this series is just too dang good to leave alone for long. Maybe we’ll get another novella or something to hold us over. Then again, there’s always season three of the Syfy series to watch for, now that principal photography has been wrapped up.

If you haven’t read this series yet, you seriously need to start. Great writing. Brilliant character. Structured story. And A NOVEL EVERY YEAR. I mean, seriously. Who else will give you that? Not many, I’ll tell you. Not many. Grab it up, people, and never let go.

  • Recommended Age: 15+
  • Language: Infrequently strong
  • Violence: Violence on a large scale, but little gore
  • Sex: None

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