16 December 2015

This Girl's Read of 2015: Nemesis Games, James S. A. Corey

As in years past, 2015's read of the year coincidentally lights up my brain just as the days darken and windows begin to reflect the sparkle of holiday lights. With the tree up, Christmas has suddenly advanced significantly in this house with seven types of cookies in the freezer and a generous amount of rum in the cupboard. My husband confessed that whenever he sees me near the tree he hankers for an eggnog; must have something to do with my name, inspires drinky feels. With this festive beverage firmly nestled in your brain, time to reflect on what makes a book worthy of the number one spot. Personally, my read of the year must be an all encompassing experience, something that blinds the world, slowing reality while simultaneously rushing time as the pages run out far to quickly. 

And of utmost importance for this girl so happens to be the fifth instalment of James S. A. Corey's The Expanse, Nemesis GamesEver since the charged Leviathan Wakes, The Expanse has kept me, a self-confessed space opera junky firmly in the stars. A sucker for all things vomit zombie related, the substantive world building and charismatic allure of this series has never left me dismayed with disappointment.

Nemesis Games returns James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante to our solar system having escaped the perils found in Cibola Burn. I am a spoiler-free book reviewer, alluding to greatness without jeopardizing the reading pleasure and thus finding this post difficult. It is not like I am recommending you to jump into this serious at the 5th stage, this is a courtship with the entire grouping. 

Keystone to the overarching plot, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th were grand studies of humanity's reluctance to learn from our past. Nemesis Games focuses on the personal, revealing the complex lives of James Holden's crew whom have yet to have their moment. And when the authors decided to give the crew their moment they decided to go pedal to the metal, escalating an already intense series to an all time high. There is an apex in every grand literary series at which immediacy is craved. Space opera, if it is to become really good space opera uses the universe as it's stage while grounding the narrative with a human perspective.  Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga shines because she knows how to write likeable characters. And with Bujold, Baker and Herbert, Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham intrinsically know the key to The Expanse's success is the crew of the Rocinante. The addition of depth to Naomi, Amos and Alex keeps the heartbeat of the storyline, reminding us, that even in space, forgiveness and love are a worthy pursuit even with the destruction of the Earth. 

Sshh, you didn't read that.