Thursday, March 1, 2018

Five top threequels

Spencer Ellsworth is the author of the Starfire Trilogy, including the newly released threequel, Memory’s Blade. One of five favorite threequels he tagged at
Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey

Everyone agrees that The Expanse is great, and everyone also has very different opinions about which is the best book. And I have to agree this was a tough choice—for one, Gate doesn’t feature a viewpoint for Detective Miller, one of the best characters in the first book, although he features in the story as the alien surrogate. Nor does Chrisjen Avasarala figure in, with her Sol-system-spanning politics and entertainingly foul mouth.

But this book, designed to serve as a finale if Corey’s remaining story was not picked up, shows the heart of The Expanse. Humanity is ready to move on, in theory having outgrown a few planets and asteroids, and the ring gate is the key. But humanity is not ready to move on in spirit. A brutal, short-sighted force seizes control of the ship at the heart of the ring gate, and Clarissa Mao’s quest for vengeance almost ends interstellar exploration before it starts.

Anna Volovodov, a preacher, reaches out to Clarissa, and who becomes the voice of calm during the uprising. The books never comment on whether there is a divine force in the universe, other than extra-dimensional threats. Anna’s character, though, and all of Abaddon’s Gate, show that faith and hope are as real in space as are avarice, vengeance and despair.

Well done, Abaddon’s Gate. You get a brand-new David Bowie CD, to take into the farthest reaches of space. No, it’s not weird that I’m giving you a CD in 2018. It’s not used. It’s new, I promise. Fresh from the factory that definitely still makes CDs.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue