Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse VI) – James S.A. Corey

Nemesis Games saw Earth attacked and crippled. Billions are dead after Marco Inaros and the Belter Free Navy landed an unimaginably cruel and perhaps fatal blow on the Inner Planets. Medina Station, the key to the colonies opened in Abaddon’s Gate, is also locked down by the Free Navy. Babylon’s Ashes is about the aftermath. […]

Blood in the Water (Destroyermen XI) – Taylor Anderson

Following the taking of “Grik City” in Straits of Hell, the Alliance is attempting to both consolidate its foothold on Madagascar and set up for a strike on the Grik heartland. The powerful League of Tripoli is meddling, howerver. On the other front, the Dominion is refusing engagement, but the Allies may be able to […]

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin, Elio M. García & Linda Antonsson

This is a companion volume to A Song of Ice & Fire, basis for the Game of Thrones TV series. It serves as a history and geography text for the world and is written from the viewpoint of a maester in the Citadel. Interestingly, it leaves a lot of ambiguity, which feels realistic because most […]

The Vital Abyss (The Expanse III½) – James S.A. Corey

This short story set in the The Expanse universe features one of the protomolecule research team scientists as the protagonist. It details how the protomolecule was initially investigated, then unleashed on Eros, and the aftermath. The protagonist shows a bleakly callous worldview. He is certainly not a sympathetic person. However, while reading his view is […]

Nemesis Games (The Expanse V) – James S.A. Corey

The new worlds discovered in Abaddon’s Gate and opened in Cibola Burn are the new frontier of human expansion. By consequence, there is no longer a need to settle minor bodies like asteroids and live “on the float” like the Belters. This group was already emarginated and seen as exploited by the powerful planetary hegemonies […]

Straits of Hell (Destroyermen X) – Taylor Anderson

Battle is joined on both of the Alliance’s fronts. In South America, Shinya must hold against the full force of the Dominion counterattack. In Madagascar, Reddy is subject to an avalanche of Grik forces in the newly taken “Grik City”. After the leadership issues in Deadly Shores having now been sorted out, what remains is the daunting […]

Deadly Shores (Destroyermen IX) – Taylor Anderson

After the successful relief of the Pete Alden’s Allied Expeditionary Force in India and the start of offensive operations against the Dominion detailed in Storm Surge, the Alliance uses its current strategic momentum to mount a daring raid against the Grik capital on Madagascar. However, muddled leadership and unclear priorities quickly turn what should have […]

Storm Surge (Destroyermen VIII) – Taylor Anderson

Following almost two books of plot fragmentation and scope expansion, Storm Surge brings things to a head. The Alliance industrial machine has hit its stride, supporting a gargantuan war effort across three continents. Following the near disastrous invasion of India in Iron Gray Sea, the Allies are ready to strike back in force. Abel Cook […]

Iron Gray Sea (Destroyermen VII) – Taylor Anderson

The Allied First Fleet attacks Grik-held India, while Captain Reddy and Walker go after a powerful Japanese warship. Certainly the action in India is riveting stuff, but most of the novel felt more like a setup for future installments. Still a fun read but no grand events. The addition of a new player at the […]

Firestorm (Destroyermen VI) – Taylor Anderson

The main story threads continue to multiply. Silva, Princess Becky and Sandra Tucker are shipwrecked and presumed lost. The invasion of Ceylon begins. The invasion of the British Empire held Hawaiian isles by the Dominion is in full swing. On the home front in Baalkpaan, the industrial buildup is really hitting its stride. The pacing […]

Rising Tides (Destroyermen V) – Taylor Anderson

The slower pace of Distant Thunders continues in the first half of Rising Tides. The story itself is divided between the Allied mission to the Empire of New Britain, salvage efforts on the S-19 submarine and a cargo ship full of fighter planes, the Allied offensive against Rangoon, and finally the adventures of the castaway […]

Distant Thunders (Destroyermen IV) – Taylor Anderson

After the epic events of Maelstrom, the series slows down and goes on a slight sidetrack due to the actions of a certain faction of New Britannic Empire. While I was initially hesitant about the story decision, I found it ultimately to be a good thing. Adding the wrinkle of both the New Britannic Empire […]

Crusade (Destroyermen II) – Taylor Anderson

After the events of Into the Storm, the humans of Walker and their Lemurian allies prepare their defenses for the inevitable Grik onslaught. Initial optimism is tempered by the realization that the threat is much greater than they initially thought. While Into the Storm was somewhat tentative, the series hits its stride in this book. A […]

Into the Storm (Destroyermen I) – Taylor Anderson

In March of 1942, during the Second Battle of the Java Sea, the obsolete American destroyer U.S.S. Walker is taking a beating. While attempting to escape into a squall, she and her crew are transported to a parallel Earth. In this world, there are no humans. Sentient lemurs and raptors are locked in an age-old […]

Cibola Burn (The Expanse IV) – James S.A. Corey

Following the events in Abaddon’s Gate, humanity has access to a thousand worlds connected by The Hub left behind by the protomolecule builders. The Outer Planets Alliance holds The Hub as a sort of way station. On the planet Ilus, Belter refugees have set up a lithium mining operation. However the UN has given the […]

Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse III) – James S.A. Corey

Following the events in Caliban’s War, the protomolecule shoots itself off into the far reaches of the Solar System, well beyond the orbit of Neptune. It forms a large ring. As it turns out, the ring is a gate to another place far away from the Sun. Mars, Earth and the Outer Planets organize expeditions […]

Caliban’s War (The Expanse II) – James S.A. Corey

Caliban’s War is set one year after the events of Leviathan Wakes. The crew of the Rocinante is on contract from the Outer Planets Alliance to hunt pirates. Meanwhile, on Ganymede, the daughter of research botanist Praxidike Meng is abducted just prior to an unexplained assault by both Mars and Earth fleets. Turns out that […]

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse I) – James S.A. Corey

A few hundred years from now, humanity has colonized the Solar System. Mars and Earth (the “Inner Planets”) are the developed juggernauts of society, with Earth crowded by a population of thirty billion. The rest of humanity lives on various moons and asteroids (the “Outer Planets”), hollowed out or domed for habitation. Tension between the […]

Armored – Edited by John Joseph Adams

This anthology of short stories deals with armored fighting suits (mecha, what have you) from many different perspectives. Some stories are pure action, while others delve deep into sentient machines and man-machine interfaces. There’s even romance. The stories range from excellent to passable. And there is quite a bit of thought-provoking stuff.