Tiamat’s Wrath by James S. A. Corey – An Audio Book Review

Tiamat's Wrath

Blurb:

Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper. 

In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay. 

At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father’s godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father, the emperor, doesn’t guess. 

And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte’s authoritarian regime. 

Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia’s eternal rule – and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose – seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough….

Author: James S. A. Corey

Narrator: Jefferson Mayes

Running Time: 19hrs 8 mins

Audio Release Date: 26/03/2019

Publisher: Recorded Books

Series: The Expanse #8

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating of ‘Tiamat’s Wrath’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Audible, Amazon

Review:

Whether the books in the Expanse series have been a hit or a miss, it’s been one-hell of a ride when you combine them all together. Tiamat’s Wrath is book eight, with book nine being the final instalment. Recently, I feel the series has gone from strength to strength and this book was no exception. Where Persepolis Rising felt like it was laying the foundations for a great finish to the series, Tiamat’s Wrath builds on that and leaves the series poised for an excellent climax.

The book starts with a ‘thank you’ to George R. R. Martin (no, don’t get excited, this isn’t the authors thanking him for FINALLY releasing the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s because one of the authors was his protégé and he thanks him for the help in getting to where he is today). That thank you immediately had me worried that book eight was going to go ‘full Martin’ and just start killing characters off left, right and centre, or have copious amounts of incest. Now, it didn’t go ‘full Martin’, but there are notable influences that you can pick up on throughout. I won’t mention what they are as they could be classed as rather large spoilers.

Much like in previous books, new characters are introduced for POV chapters to go along with the old characters. I always find this a bit hit and miss. In book three, I just never really cared for any of the new characters and in others, I loved them. Fortunately this had nothing but interesting characters so I pretty much knew I was going to enjoy each POV. As far as new faces go, I found Teresa to be a fun character to follow.

One thing this series does well is the non-action parts. Action with the Expanse can be solid or it can be a bit underwhelming. You either get the high-octane awesomeness of Caliban’s War or Nemesis Games, or the mediocrity of Abaddon’s Gate (just my opinion there). Tiamat’s Wrath does have action, but it’s short, sharp bursts and does not feel as though it takes up too much of the story. The vast bulk of this one revolves around character growth, world-building and the machinations between either side.

For my money, Tiamat’s Wrath is easily one of the best in the series so far and slots quite comfortably inside my top three. From start to finish it does an excellent job of setting the final book up with a big fight feel. Can’t wait for Leviathan Falls to be released. You really can see why that (on audible at least) with over 1,600 ratings, it has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.

As ever, Jefferson Mays does a wonderful job with the narration. He’s been an absolute pleasure to listen to over the course of this series. My favourite voice of his will probably have to be Amos. Just think he nails it perfectly.

12 thoughts on “Tiamat’s Wrath by James S. A. Corey – An Audio Book Review

  1. All right, all right, I’ll read the series, I love the show and most of the books are so well liked 🙂 Perhaps I’ll wait until after the show is over, not to mix them up, I’m sure there are some differences…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One hell of a ride, indeed, and I’m waiting for the final book with very mixed feeling: on one side I want to see how the authors wrap it up, on the other, I know I will feel bereft of the best space opera series I read so far. There is always the prospect of a full re-read, though…
    And I had to laugh (if bitterly) at your mention of “going full Martin”, starting with that oh-so-shocking opening sentence and moving forward… (((sniffle… sniffle…)))
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If the first-sentence announcement was a shock, I could at least rationalize it by reminding myself of the age of the character, but for “Timothy” and later on for another favorite of mine I went through that same burning hate toward the authors… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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