Tiamat's Wrath
by Corey, James S. A.

While Elvi Okoye weighs the consequences of uncovering the truth about weapons tied to an ancient genocide, Teresa Duarte navigates secrets and dangerous intrigues to fulfill her father's godlike ambition.

James S.A. Corey is the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. They both live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Find out more about this series at www.jamessacorey.com.

*Starred Review* The eighth book of the popular space-opera series The Expanse (starting with Leviathan Wakes, 2011) finds High Consul Winston Duarte and his Laconian government ruthlessly holding power over the 1,300 star systems colonized with the help of alien technology. James Holden, the reluctant hero of previous novels, is a prisoner of Duarte, and many of his original crew are working with the underground to upset the balance of power. As Duarte commits to an ambitious and sinister plan to discover the unknown power behind the ring gates, both sides must deal with the ramifications of his actions. Corey deftly weaves multiple points of view to create a dense and colorful tapestry of political intrigue, personal relationships, and sophisticated technology that bursts with action but also delivers an introspective view of the characters as they age and reflect on their purposes and the value of their lives. Part of what is projected to be a nine-book series, this story at once provides a satisfying conclusion and maneuvers the story lines to a propulsive confrontation that will have readers eagerly awaiting the final chapter. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Volume eight (of, reportedly, nine) of The Expanse (Persepolis Rising, 2017, etc.), Corey's (aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) sprawling alien-contact space opera. Fashioned by an alien life form, the protomolecule opened an interstellar portal to thousands of other planets. As humans began to spread into the galaxy, civil wars flared across the solar system. But the protomolecule also proved the key to unlocking a highly advanced alien science. Thirty years ago, Martian dissidents fled through a portal and founded an aggressive, technologically sophisticated empire, Laconia, ruled by immortal dictator Winston Duarte. In the previous book, the Laconians returned to the solar system, effortlessly conquering it and capturing iconic ship's captain Jim Holden, who's managed to survive since the inaugural volume. He now languishes on Laconia, talking with Duarte's young daughter, Teresa, whom the dictator is training as his successor. Back in the solar system, a few freedom fighte rs—inspired by Holden's ex Naomi Nagata and space marine Bobbie Draper—continue the resistance, but even they are faltering against Laconia's protomolecule science-powered superiority. The empire, meanwhile, has its own problems. Millions of years ago, enigmatic but even more advanced aliens wiped out the protomolecule's builders and have already reacted with horrific violence to Laconia's attempts to reactivate ancient protomolecular artifacts. But rather than delicately investigate these aliens, Duarte recklessly orders his chief scientist, Elvi Okoye, to provoke them. The Expanse has always been, well, expansive, but recent developments have exponentially amplified it in scope. As an intriguing side effect, where previously the solar system yawned unfathomably vast, on a galactic scale it feels almost claustrophobic. So, what with the plentiful palace intrigue, freedom fighters battling desperately, an existential alien menace, and characters both familiar and fresh, the stage is set for another churning, relentlessly gripping, mind-boggling episode. The well-received TV series tie-in will help. With only one installment to come, the tension and excitement show no sign of flagging. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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