Verdict: I liked this both more and less than the first one.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Published by Hachette, 2012
For someone who didn’t intend to wreck the solar system’s fragile balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it.
While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. The outer planets and the Belt are uncertain in their new – possibly temporary – autonomy.
Then, on one of Jupiter’s moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers of Earth and Mars indiscriminately and reigniting the war. The race is on to discover whether this is the vanguard of an alien army, or if the danger lies closer to home.
I am buddy reading this series with my boyfriend – which is something we have not done before but which is enhancing my enjoyment of this series immensely. But that meant that I had to take about a month’ break in the middle of the book so that he could catch up – and then he sped up and finished the book around 200 pages before me (which is just rude).
This book starts some time after the events of the first book – and the structure mirrors that one a bit too closely I found. In the prologue we are introduced to a chronically ill girl who is abducted, serving as one of the main characters main motivation. At least this time, that person is her father and I am a lot more interested in family dynamics than into some dude’s weird obsession. What worked best for me where those newly introduced characters, especially the two women. I loved spending time with Bobby, a soldier from Mars with a pretty severe case of PTSD. She is wonderfully drawn in a superhuman way which I just adored. I also loved Chrisjen Avasarala – an aging beaurocrat with a knack for the game of intelligence. I love that her abrasive nature is counterbalanced by her lovely relationship to her husband. But, Holden still annoys me to no end and his tendency to act before thinking (acknowledged in the text as a flaw) drove me up the walls.
I also found the story to be meandering and antagonists ill-defined. I do hope this will change over the course of the next books, because I am so intrigued to see where this goes next.