This series just keeps getting better and better. For the third time we sail out on the good ship Rocinante
and its captain, Jim Holden, and crew. As we've come to expect from Holden and friends, he's right in the middle of whatever's going on – if not actually causing it/making it worse. Although the chances are he's going to do a lot of that before the book is out too. The protomolecule artefact has finished with the planet Venus and has now created a massive structure in space. A massive structure hanging in space is just going to be a lightning rod to attract all the crazies: the government crazies, the religious crazies and the just-plain-crazy crazies. Some want to understand the artefact; some want to own it or destroy it; some just see it as an opportunity for revenge.
It feels like author duo, James S.A. Corey, has been sitting at the foot of [a:George R.R. Martin|346732|George R.R. Martin|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1351944410p2/346732.jpg] a little too long. Each chapter cycles through a series of point-of-view characters – an expanded cast over the previous novels – and this is used to good effect to narrate the story from multiple ships, from multiple governments, and even Melba's little revenge trip sub-plot. The synchronicity is a little too convenient at times – Melba's (great cover name by the way) hatred of Holden is understandable, but it doesn't explain quite how she's able to control events quite so successfully, getting the Rocinante
and its crew in just the right place at just the right time. Everything just comes together a little neatly. And I still don't really feel like I've 'bonded' with the crew as much as I think I should have after three novels. Bobbie I liked immediately – these guys I still feel like I'm getting to know. So why a five-star? Because these things don't matter. The story really is that good.
The truly strange thing about this though is that, after three full-length novels and two short stories, it really only feels like Corey has just gotten started. All three novels stand up perfectly well as novels in the series, but it suddenly becomes clear that the world-building that Corey has been doing so far was only the tip of the iceberg (or the tip of the available universes in this story). Suddenly, the artefact (presumably) is opening up a whole myriad of further universes to explore and world-build in. I'm looking forward to it...