When we last left things, whatever the Protomolecule had been doing on Venus following Eros Station’s crash landing appears to have come to an end. The bad news? Well, it sort of constructed this giant mysterious mechanical ring that drifted off into space and made its way into Uranus’ (heh heh) orbit. No one knows what it is, or what its intentions are, so several ships from Mars, Earth and the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance) have decided to park their ships in front of it and just sort of.. wait for something to happen.
As with Caliban’s War, new characters are again introduced into Corey’s ever-expanding universe. We’re introduced to a few newbies on their journeys to The Ring: Bull, an Earther from New Mexico working as head of security on an OPA ship; Anna, a Russian born pastor riding on a ship full of religious dignitaries; and Melba, a mysterious woman harbouring a grudge against Captain James Holden.
And speaking of Holden, Mars has begun proceedings to reacquire their property, the former Martian warship now dubbed The Roci. In an effort to escape the Martian Navy, Holden has agreed to transport a documentary news crew to the front lines of The Ring, despite Holden’s reservations – he believes the Protomolecule isn’t finished with him yet and worries that by getting too close, he’ll endanger not only himself, but his crew.
Abaddon’s Gate is definitely the grittiest, messiest entry in The Expanse series up to this point. The bulk of the action takes place within one ship, a small space compared to the galaxy-spanning action of the first two novels. Close quarters combat causes buckets of blood to spill along with several jaw-dropping developments that kept me on the edge of my seat.
When I normally approach long running series, I like to spread out the material to prolong the length of time I spend with the books. However with The Expanse, I can’t pick up the next book fast enough. On to Cibola Burn!