Persepolis Rising by James S.A Corey – An Audio Book Review

persepolis rising


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 the 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 pattern 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….

Author: James S.A Corey

Narrator: Jefferson Mays

Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books

Running Time: 20 hrs 34 mins

Series: The Expanse #7

Genre: Sci-fi

My Rating of ‘Persepolis Rising’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UK, Audible US, Amazon UK, Amazon US


As the Expanse series winds down to the remaining few books, the decision for the authors to set Persepolis Rising 30 years after the events of the previous book really gives you that ‘coming to an end of a series’ feeling.

That is, until you start reading, or in my case listening. If the authors didn’t tell you the crew were older and pushing retirement, you’d not guess it. Old(er) age hasn’t really slowed them down or inhibited them much.

For the story being told, the future sense makes perfect sense. Humanities wayward sons that dispersed through the gate system needed a decent chunk of time to establish themselves before coming back to conquer. That could not be achieved over night, but with the aid of alien technology it can be achieved in three short decades. So I agree with, and like the future setting. I just wish the crew of Rocinante felt like an aging crew. Still, it’s only a relatively small issue.

The story itself is interesting, if a little slow. The new faces introduced, even the villains, are fleshed out in such a way that makes them feel very human and even has you feeling for them more than you would like. Just hammers across that people are people, they all have their own motivations and they all have things in their life that make them loved and loveable. Whatever side of the good or bad divide they find themselves on.

I do wish there had been a tad more action, but I can see why there wasn’t. The authors were aiming for a very specific style of war/invasion and the way they did it worked. It just made the book feel more talky than actiony.

One thing I was looking forward to after the last book was seeing how Clarissa settled in as a crew member and what kind of trouble her continued presence might have caused. But, with there being a 30 year jump forward, there was none of that. I’m assuming there’s a novella somewhere set in the time period between the time jump, possibly there’s more mentioned in that. Considering we are given a glossed over account of the full lives the crew had been living, I certainly hope so.

My annoyances of Clarissa’s fitting in aside, what we got with her in this book was very enjoyable. Not overly surprising, but incredibly enjoyable. The dynamic she has with Amos is, as ever, and interesting one.

Things were left off really nicely as far as setting things up for the next book is concerned. I’d be highly surprised if the ‘more action’ wish I made earlier goes unanswered in the following book.

As ever, Jefferson Mays brings this series to life wonderfully. I love his voice for Amos. He just does a very good job all round. As clichè as it is to say; I’d not have any other narrator performing The Expanse … well, except maybe R.C Bray. But he’s just a genius of sci-fi narration.

5 thoughts on “Persepolis Rising by James S.A Corey – An Audio Book Review

  1. The novellas do indeed tend to fill the gaps left in the main story, and I would love to see something set in those 30 years. The story might look a bit slow, granted, but I’ve noticed that the authors tend to do that when they move toward a new angle of the narrative, as if they wanted to ease the readers into the new… configuration. There will be more action in the next book, though. Get ready 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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