Recommendation: Tiamat’s Wrath (The Expanse Book 8)

Tiamat’s Wrath is the eighth book of The Expanse series.  This is definitely a series you want to read in order, so if you’re just starting, I’d recommend beginning with the first book, Leviathan Wakes.

This is the penultimate book of the series, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that things are seriously heating up.  We learned earlier in the series that the ancient civilization that produced the protomolecule and gate network was destroyed by some force.  In this book, an authoritarian group of military types decide that maybe it’s time to poke the bear, to play a tit-for-tat game with that force.  I’m not spoiling anything by saying there is a response, and it is a pretty serious game changer.

This book continues the old time space opera feel of the series.  It does this by keeping the space logistics at an interplanetary level, even when they’re in a different solar system, and by largely eschewing any role for artificial intelligence.  (One of the authors, Ty Franks, points out that AI exists in the books, just not with its own personality.)  As a result, it’s not the hardest science fiction around, but the result is a very human story, more so than a lot of other fiction I review here.

The Expanse series has been called Game of Thrones in space, but that isn’t really accurate.  Some of the differences are that these books have avoided the sprawl of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books, they reliably come out once a year, they range around 500 or so pages apiece, and are generally self contained stories, although some of them do end on an overall cliff hanger.

And the main characters all get along pretty well.  (They don’t always in the TV show, but then, although I enjoy the show immensely, I actually find it darker and edgier than the books.)  Indeed, I found myself totally engrossed in this book, and I think the reason, aside from the writing acumen of the authors, is the likable characters.

So if you’re looking for classic adventure in space, with occasional bouts of philosophical pondering, I continue to recommend this series.

5 thoughts on “Recommendation: Tiamat’s Wrath (The Expanse Book 8)

  1. Definitely on my reading list (but we talked about how impossible that is). I am ready to start watching the TV series on Amazon now that all three seasons are available in 4K. Kinda looking forward to it, actually. Been a while since I had a decent SF space series, and I do like how accurate they are about technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The show is definitely far more accurate in terms of spaceflight than just about any other show I’ve ever seen. The main thing to know going in is that it’s a slow burn. Things gradually heat up until you have major humanity spanning events taking place. I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny you should mention this. I just got that book today; I’ve read the other books in the series and watched the show, so I’m looking forward to this one. Nice to know things are heating up, as the last books set up some serious expectations 🙂

    Also, speaking of the Martin books, while I love Game of Thrones, I’m not a fan of the books. I find they meander too much, and seem to go out of their way to defuse any momentum they built up. I much prefer the show, which saying quite a bit since I almost always prefer the books 🙂

    I might have to read a bit of Tiamat’s Wrath before bed-time tonight 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree on the GoT books. I read the first three years ago. The third book felt pretty bloated to me. I then swore off reading any others until the series finished. That was something like 15 years ago! Based on what I’ve heard about the later books, the show wisely chopped out most of the later material. After it completes, I doubt I’ll ever have any motivation to go back to the books.

      Maybe the Expanse authors learned from Martin’s stumbles. I don’t know. But the Expanse books usually feel pretty well structured, with a momentum I often felt lacking in the Ice and Fire ones.

      I found myself engrossed in TW in a way I seldom do for books anymore. I’m still working through what it had that led to that.

      Anyway, hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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