STARRED REVIEW
December 05, 2017

Once more into the breach

By James S. A. Corey

This explosive opening salvo for the third trilogy in the Expanse series promises shocking change as older longstanding powers are swept from the field and new players emerge from the violence. The protomolecule horror that ignited the pace of this series in Corey’s first book is back with provocative and terrifying potential. With whole systems disarmed and fighters in flight, Persepolis Rising prepares humanity for its greatest test of resilience—and resistance.

Share this Article:

After years of steering the crew of the attack ship Rocinante through the heart of conflicts and intrigues that affected humanity on a galactic scale, Captain James Holden is ready to retire. Pulling in his wake an unconventional crew that includes a dangerously volatile mechanic, a physically deteriorating former foe, former Martian military officers and a Belter with reasons to hate them all, Holden’s team has nonetheless evolved over decades into a close shipboard family, albeit a dysfunctional one.

Holden’s sudden plan to exit leaves the crew members with little time to adapt to a changed hierarchy and someone new in the captain’s chair. Before moving on to the next stage of their lives, Holden and his partner Naomi, the Rocinante’s engineer and Executive Officer, arrange to say their goodbyes to their crew family at Medina station, the central point of transit and departure through the vast ring of gates to new planets and solar systems. But before the Roci crew can fully part ways, unfinished business from a decades-old conflict boils through the Laconian gate.

Armed with new ships and troops fanatically loyal to a protomolecule-enhanced leader, the long-absent Laconian navy returns to occupy Medina Station and seize access to the gateways that are humanity’s only access to the broader galaxy. Equipped with frightening protomolecule technology and scavenged alien resources, the invading force acts with dangerous unpredictability in their quest to control the vital trade and travel nexus. Their complete domination of the station and ring emboldens the returned renegade navy to subdue the perceived core of humanity’s governance, the Sol system.

Stranded on Medina and threatened by an increasingly brutal occupying force, the Rocinante crew joins old adversaries from Mars, Earth and the Belt in uneasy alliances. With limited resources, they assemble a fractious underground resistance as they race to salvage any capability of fighting back. Unmoored from their ship, unbound by governance and uncertain about their leadership, the Rocinante crewmates are thrust into changing roles that reveal difficult truths about them. Even Holden, whose retirement hasn’t even begun, recognizes that when disaster strikes, he doesn’t know how not to be in the middle of it.

Following the crew as they’re divided and forced into close quarters guerilla action, Persepolis Rising offers some of the most intimate exploration of the series’ beloved characters to date. While Holden has a part to play, this book allows more room for the perspectives of other crew favorites, giving their distinctive and entertaining dialogues room to really breathe. James S. A. Corey’s talent for painting the crew’s intimate stories against the vast landscape of space is on full and fantastic display here.

This explosive opening salvo for the third trilogy in the Expanse series promises shocking change as longstanding powers are swept from the field and new players emerge from the violence. The protomolecule horror that ignited the pace of this series in Corey’s first book is back with provocative and terrifying potential. With whole systems disarmed and fighters in flight, Persepolis Rising prepares humanity for its greatest test of resilience—and resistance.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Persepolis Rising

Persepolis Rising

By James S. A. Corey
Orbit
ISBN 9780316332835

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!