In the thousand-sun network of humanity’s expansion, new colony worlds are struggling to find their way. Every new planet lives on a knife edge between collapse and wonder, and the crew of the aging gunship Rocinante have their hands more than full keeping the fragile peace.
In the vast space between Earth and Jupiter, the inner planets and belt have formed a tentative and uncertain alliance still haunted by a history of wars and prejudices. On the lost colony world of Laconia, a hidden enemy has a new vision for all of humanity and the power to enforce it.
New technologies clash with old as the history of human conflict returns to its ancient patterns of war and subjugation. But human nature is not the only enemy, and the forces being unleashed have their own price. A price that will change the shape of humanity — and of the Rocinante — unexpectedly and forever…
If you haven’t read The Expanse novels before reading this review, STOP. What are you doing? Go read the other novels because you will NOT be disappointed. The Expanse is a space opera full of political intrigue, action, well-developed characters, and world building like you wouldn’t believe.
Also, check out the TV show if you haven’t already!
Persepolis Rising is the seventh book in The Expanse series and is a game changer. A significant amount of time has passed between the previous novel, Babylon’s Ashes, and Persepolis Rising. Our favourite characters of the Rocinante are much older than they were at the beginning of the series and their age is beginning to show. I found this very hard to reconcile with because I enjoy reading about them so much and it isn’t often that I find a series that ages its characters up significantly as the series progresses.
At the back of my copy of the novel, there’s an interview with the authors that talks about the various arcs the books can be categorized under. In the interview, the authors talk about how the last few books will focus heavily on the makers of the protomolecule. This has been a burning question of mine since the first novel. However, Persepolis Rising focuses only slightly on this question. The novel’s main goal is to set up the conclusion of the series. The novel touches on the origins of the protomolecule slightly through the conflict between new and old technologies as the characters grapple with their familiar patterns of war and subjugation, which has been a running theme throughout the novels.
“Your empire’s hands look a lot cleaner when you get to dictate where history begins, and what parts of it count.”
Overall, Persepolis Rising is an action packed novel that deviates significantly from the previous novels in ways that are interesting and saddening. I cannot wait to see where the story goes next!