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Persepolis Rising (Book 7 of the Expanse) - SPOILERS

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2 minutes ago, red snow said:

protomolecule?

Surprised apple and amazon aren't the ones looking at it.

That was my thought about it, too. Some ancient civilization just took a shot at us and missed. Look for another one in about 100k years. :P

Edited by Corvinus

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Finished.  I had a hard time accepting that nobody confronted Laconia during the gap.  Humans pick at scabs.  We just aren't good at letting things go.  If no probes come back, then we send more.  I did not find the 'recovering from the events of previous books prevented humanity from investigating' explanation at all persuasive.  Mysteries beg a solution.  I'd have more readily accepted the idea if the probes that went through sent back telemetry of a huge pile of spaceship debris and a functioning alien defense system that then destroys said probes, showing EVIDENCE Laconia had a relic that wiped out Duarte and his whole fleet.

Also, the strategy employed by the EMC/Union forces was dopey.  There is a time to fight and a time to scurry like rats.  This was the latter.  I'm thinking of the Dornish strategy against Aegon and his progeny.  Actual Laconians are rare.  The other humans can trade 1000 to 1 and win.  If you can't destroy their ships, you destroy their loyal troops.

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The gap definitely had issues, it was especially awkward when people barely remembered who Holden was (although this may have just been Singh).  

I thought the Drummer pov was just a poor choice, she's a super boring character with pretty much zero distinguishing features beyond 'has a tough job and wants to do it but is also kind of tired'.  There have already been a bunch of other possible POVs mentioned that surely would have had a more unique and interesting voice or perspective.  I mean, Drummer is literally if Michio Pa was a hall monitor on valium.  

Beyond that, I really liked the book but it was probably the weakes in the series yet.  That's not as much of a dig as it sounds like, i enjoyed it and look forward to the next installments eagerly.  Despite the gap issues and the weak Drummer Pov, it had an awesome death scene in Clarissa, I thought Duarte was handled well and that the entire Laconia plot advanced nicely.  Looking forward to the remainder of the Holden/Duarte dialogue.  

 

Glad Avasarala is still ticking, it's a less interesting place once she's gone.

 

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On 12/12/2017 at 4:25 PM, Bronn Stone said:

Finished.  I had a hard time accepting that nobody confronted Laconia during the gap.  Humans pick at scabs.  We just aren't good at letting things go.  If no probes come back, then we send more.  I did not find the 'recovering from the events of previous books prevented humanity from investigating' explanation at all persuasive.  Mysteries beg a solution.  I'd have more readily accepted the idea if the probes that went through sent back telemetry of a huge pile of spaceship debris and a functioning alien defense system that then destroys said probes, showing EVIDENCE Laconia had a relic that wiped out Duarte and his whole fleet.

Also, the strategy employed by the EMC/Union forces was dopey.  There is a time to fight and a time to scurry like rats.  This was the latter.  I'm thinking of the Dornish strategy against Aegon and his progeny.  Actual Laconians are rare.  The other humans can trade 1000 to 1 and win.  If you can't destroy their ships, you destroy their loyal troops.

I generally agree with you on both points.

But I think your hypothetical spaceship debris and an alien defense system beyond the Laconia gate would just pose another mystery.  No one would think Duarte's fleet had been wiped out because some who were on Medina during Babylon's Ashes would have remembered the Laconian ship that coasted back through the gate and the Laconians that then set up to defend the rail guns on the ring station.  Subsequently, the message broadcast through the Laconia Gate changed to (paraphrasing) "Stay Out."  How were Duarte and his people going to suddenly start sending that message after the Free Navy was wiped out at the end of Babylon's Ashes if they already had been turned into spaceship debris at the end of Nemesis Games (prior to the start of Babylon's Ashes)?

So as you say, I think someone would have risked sending something through that could defend itself or evade attacks better than a probe, just to get a glimpse.  That may have failed as well, but then that would have in turn raised suspicions even further, and humans might have been better prepared to think that whatever was going to come from Laconia was a major threat instead of thinking that 2 small gunships were going to be relevant at all in Medina.

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Just finished up. I enjoyed the book but also felt that a 30 year time jump was too much. Duarte makes for an interesting villain, far more so than Inaros. Drummer's POV I found to be quite boring and the weakest part of the book.

I think that a 10 year time jump could have worked just as well. We know that Duarte chose Laconia because this was where the alien artifacts were most intact in addition to the construction platforms with a half completed ship. He also took some of the best minds with him (including Cortazar who seems to be at the forefront of Protomolecule research) and the only remaining Protomolecule sample so I think it would have been plausible for a fleet to be constructed in that time albeit a smaller one that what was presented in the books (100+ battle ships + 3 Magnetar-class battle cruisers). A smaller fleet would have worked just fine since Sol system would have had much less time to recover as well.

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You make a couple of good points but I still think it would be easier and make more sense for the Laconians to have discouraged visitors by coming up with some scheme whereby the rest of humanity believed the protomolecule was on some rampage in that system, corrupting and replacing humans.

9 hours ago, Wethers said:

I generally agree with you on both points.

But I think your hypothetical spaceship debris and an alien defense system beyond the Laconia gate would just pose another mystery.  No one would think Duarte's fleet had been wiped out because some who were on Medina during Babylon's Ashes would have remembered the Laconian ship that coasted back through the gate and the Laconians that then set up to defend the rail guns on the ring station.  Subsequently, the message broadcast through the Laconia Gate changed to (paraphrasing) "Stay Out."  How were Duarte and his people going to suddenly start sending that message after the Free Navy was wiped out at the end of Babylon's Ashes if they already had been turned into spaceship debris at the end of Nemesis Games (prior to the start of Babylon's Ashes)?

So as you say, I think someone would have risked sending something through that could defend itself or evade attacks better than a probe, just to get a glimpse.  That may have failed as well, but then that would have in turn raised suspicions even further, and humans might have been better prepared to think that whatever was going to come from Laconia was a major threat instead of thinking that 2 small gunships were going to be relevant at all in Medina.

 

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I’m half expecting an Expanse: TNG in the next book, with Filip and Kit Kamal and maybe Bobbie’s nephew from Gods of Risk.

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This time I didn't re-read the entire series before the book came out.  (Only the last two books).  I touched on this in my first post as well.  Have they mentioned how old certain characters are in previous books, or described how anti-aging drugs work?  Is a 60 year old person considered middle aged?  I am trying to picture how old Holden, Naomi, Amos, and Alex should be.  Is Holden in this 60s?  They inserted a lot of mentions of sore joints and what-not, but I still don't feel I know the general parameters of aging in the world of the books. 

I also thought that there needed to be more of Houston Payne, other than a couple lines at the end of the book.  I almost would have liked him as a POV character. 

I know that posting about gripes is easy, but I still enjoyed the book and the direction of the plot.  Very little was predictable about this book, and being someone who reads so many books, I tend to get sick of guessing plot twists a mile away.  There was only one character death that seemed to be obviously coming. 

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10 hours ago, Spaßvogel said:

This time I didn't re-read the entire series before the book came out.  (Only the last two books).  I touched on this in my first post as well.  Have they mentioned how old certain characters are in previous books, or described how anti-aging drugs work?  Is a 60 year old person considered middle aged?  I am trying to picture how old Holden, Naomi, Amos, and Alex should be.  Is Holden in this 60s?  They inserted a lot of mentions of sore joints and what-not, but I still don't feel I know the general parameters of aging in the world of the books.

Probably wrong here but I don't recall anti-aging meds even being mentioned prior to PR.

As to ages, I'm guessing that Bobbie, Holden and Naomi would be in their sixties. IIRC, Bobbie was described as being no older than thirty in CW and Holden was described as being in his early thirties in LW. Not sure about Naomi but I'm guessing she would be of a similar age. Alex was said to be near fifty in CW so that would put him in his eighties. In LW, Amos says that he's been flying for around twenty-five years. Not sure how old he was when he left Earth (I'm guessing late teens to early twenties) which would put him in his late seventies or early eighties.

Edited by Consigliere

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Finished Persepolis Rising. It is the best book after Nemesis Games and probably Caliban's War.
 
The three decade jump was necessary, but I felt that the characters looked exactly the same as they were 3 decades ago, which IMO isn't a sign of good writing. It almost looked that nothing has changed.

How is the deal with people's age? They looked physically fit, especially Bobbie and Amos who should be in their sixties. Alex should be eighty or so, but his age didn't seem a problem. Do humans live significantly longer and are far fitter than they are now? If so, how did Frank Johnson died from a heart attack last book? Didn't he had medicine like the rest of people?

It would be very interesting to see how will the time jump affect the TV show.
 
I miss Avasarela. She is my favorite character and her role was so small on this. On the other hand, this was the only role she could have had in the book.
 
I like where this is going. Always wanted for this to end with a clash against the destroyers of the proto-molecule masters, and it looks that the final two books will be all about that. The Duarte-Holden epilogue was really great.
 
Talking about Holden, I am hoping that he will have a bigger role in the next book.
 
Duarte doesn't look that bad. We still don't know much of him, but he looks more like a benevolent dictator who is doing all of this to save humanity (of course, the costs on doing that are terrible), rather than a power-hungry tyrant like the antagonist of the last two books. Of course, him actually unleashing/helping Inaros which resulted in a few billion deaths taints his character, but we will see how things go. If this was the only way to save humanity, then it is an interesting moral dilemma.
 
Singh was the typical scared little man who is in a position way higher than he should be, and who does wrong after wrong decision. It is probably the type of characters I despise most, and really overused in fantasy/sci-fi saga. 

A fit ending for Clarissa.

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9 hours ago, TheRevanchist said:
Finished Persepolis Rising. It is the best book after Nemesis Games and probably Caliban's War.
 
The three decade jump was necessary, but I felt that the characters looked exactly the same as they were 3 decades ago, which IMO isn't a sign of good writing. It almost looked that nothing has changed.

How is the deal with people's age? They looked physically fit, especially Bobbie and Amos who should be in their sixties. Alex should be eighty or so, but his age didn't seem a problem. Do humans live significantly longer and are far fitter than they are now? If so, how did Frank Johnson died from a heart attack last book? Didn't he had medicine like the rest of people?

It would be very interesting to see how will the time jump affect the TV show.
 
I miss Avasarela. She is my favorite character and her role was so small on this. On the other hand, this was the only role she could have had in the book.
 
I like where this is going. Always wanted for this to end with a clash against the destroyers of the proto-molecule masters, and it looks that the final two books will be all about that. The Duarte-Holden epilogue was really great.
 
Talking about Holden, I am hoping that he will have a bigger role in the next book.
 
Duarte doesn't look that bad. We still don't know much of him, but he looks more like a benevolent dictator who is doing all of this to save humanity (of course, the costs on doing that are terrible), rather than a power-hungry tyrant like the antagonist of the last two books. Of course, him actually unleashing/helping Inaros which resulted in a few billion deaths taints his character, but we will see how things go. If this was the only way to save humanity, then it is an interesting moral dilemma.
 
Singh was the typical scared little man who is in a position way higher than he should be, and who does wrong after wrong decision. It is probably the type of characters I despise most, and really overused in fantasy/sci-fi saga. 

A fit ending for Clarissa.

Duarte, from his own POV, doesn’t look that bad.  He set up Singh to be a sacrifice to make Duarte look like the “Philosopher King” be believes himself to be.

Duarte is the worst kind of dangerous, smart and ruthless.

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Does anyone know if Daniel has any other books coming out under any of his various aliases? Or is he focusing on the Expanse and the show for the time being? A book a year from him is still great but was just curious if he has any solo works in the pipeline.

About two thirds of the way through and after the initial shock of the 3 decade jump it's settled into a great installment. I'm really pleased they've pared down the number of POVs this time around as that was my main gripe with the previous book. I think this one is flowing a lot better with 4 rotating POVs and the occasional extra one.

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Anyone else catch the Dagger & Coin reference? At one point Bobbie asks Holden about a band called Kurtadam, which is one of the races from D&C. A small thing, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Anyway, just finished the book, loved it, can't wait for the next.

 

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As someone mentioned upthread, the more I think about the thirty year jump the more unnecessary it seems.  I think Laconia could have developed the alien tech in a much shorter time span.

I guess the settlement of the new worlds also relies on a gap but again, it doesn't need to be that long unless they were dead set on having an entire generation spent in the colonial life.  

Which leads me to believe that Dan and Ty wanted to fast forward to catch some of the younger characters who were off screen to a certain point.  Filip is the obvious one, and there's Prax's daughter, Basia's daughter, and Anna's kid.  

Guessing we get one or more of them as a PoV in the next one.  Seems the only real justification for the thirty years.

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We’ve also got Alex’s kid, plus if the gap was shorter then Singh wouldn’t be senior enough to be the scapegoat, they’d have had to appoint someone with previous MCRN experience who wouldn’t have made all those mistakes 

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Also Bobbie's smart/innocent nephew from Gods of Risk (and from one of the prologues) as well as Avasarala's granddaughters (one of them is Kiki) are probably in their 50s.

It's implied based on name (the "Baca" part of Santos-Baca or something) that Drummer's colleague who dies on one of the city stations destroyed by the Laconian Battleship is related to Bull from Abbadon's Gate.

Also there is a scientist applying for a grant to Drummer and Baca above whose name sounds like he could be the offspring of Elvi Okoye and Fayez Sarkis from Cibola Burn.

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20 hours ago, Wethers said:

Also there is a scientist applying for a grant to Drummer and Baca above whose name sounds like he could be the offspring of Elvi Okoye and Fayez Sarkis from Cibola Burn.

 

Nah, that was Fayez.  He's just using their married name.

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39 minutes ago, DanielAbraham said:

 

Nah, that was Fayez.  He's just using their married name.

Whoa cool - will have to go back and re-read.  Thank you!

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On 12/16/2017 at 11:53 PM, TheRevanchist said:

Singh was the typical scared little man who is in a position way higher than he should be, and who does wrong after wrong decision. It is probably the type of characters I despise most, and really overused in fantasy/sci-fi saga.

Though PR does get a bit of credit because Singh was put in his role precisely because of these traits, by leadership that wanted him to fail because of them.  He wasn't promoted over his head by accident or happenstance.

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For a 30 year time jump, Laconia is  - if anything - seemingly underpopulated.   Constant references to the size of its facilities being much larger than the current population requires.. but presumably the bulk of the population is high density and confined to a fraction of the planet's surface. I would have assumed there would have been some intense natalist policies, but apparently not.  Duarte only has a single daughter and combined with our other example - Singh's family - intervals between children are pretty decent.  Promoting a natalist policy would've been a nice reference, since Augustus tried to bolster the Roman population with natalist laws that punished people without kids.  'course Hitler was also a natalist, so perhaps they wanted to avoid the Hitler parallel.

So the consciousness loss thing was an attack meant to kill the Ring Builders, right? So the Ring Builders must've been some sort of... conscious energy pattern or something?  A species that only had RAM and no hard-disks.  The disruption of consciousness killed them, but only causes humans to reboot.

 

 

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