Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu
Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Expanse (Book #5 of 9)
Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera
Pages: 535 pages (UK paperback)
Published: 4th June 2015 by Orbit (UK) and 2nd June 2015 by Orbit (US)
It’s all about the crew of Rocinante, and that’s the main reason why Nemesis Games is the best book in the series so far.
Here we are at the halfway point of the series. Nemesis Games, the fifth volume in The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey, once again put Holden, Naomi, Alex, and Amos in a tough spot. But get this, for the first time in the series, we finally have an entire book with POV chapters told exclusively through the eyes of these four characters. Let me repeat that, Holden, Naomi, Alex, and Amos have their own POV chapters. And to make things even better, Fred, Bobbie, and Avasarala (Yesss!!!) have more spotlight here, and my god, this book/series is seriously so much better for it.
“There was a button,” Holden said. “I pushed it.”
“Jesus Christ. That really is how you go through life, isn’t it?”
I mean, with that kind of attitude, it’s not a surprise that Holden and the crew of Rocinante always get in trouble. Look, I can’t tell you how pleased I am by Corey’s decision to put all of these characters in one volume. The average ratings speak for itself already; all of these characters are the majority of The Expanse reader’s favorite characters in the series, and of course, Nemesis Games automatically became one of the highest rated books within the series because of this. I’ve mentioned in my review of Abaddon’s Gate and Cibola Burn that I had some issue with the choices of new POV characters. I’ve been waiting for the rest of the crew of Rocinante to have their own POV chapters, and it finally happened here.
“This is as good as it gets. Can’t expect everyone to be on the same page. We’re still humans after all. Some percentage of us are always going to be assholes.”
Not only that, but I think Nemesis Games also managed to highlight Corey’s strength in characterizations for the crew of Rocinante. Even though they’re the four main POV characters of the book, for almost the entirety of the novel, none of them actually share many scenes together. However, just because the characters aren’t separated, it doesn’t mean that the massive intergalactic problem they’re facing isn’t the same; they’re all in this together, their vacation from each other actually strengthen their relationship with each other further as they respectively realized the importance of each individual in their lives. Characterizations and choices of POV characters aside, the intergalactic conflicts introduced in this volume was bloody crazy. There were so many destructions caused and blood being shed; I’m not kidding, the number of casualties exceeded millions. For some reason, I never expected the troubles the characters faced would escalate this much in one volume, and I’m so delighted by it.
“Looking back through history, there are a lot more men who thought they were Alexander the Great than men who actually were.”
Intimate storytelling, large-scale conflicts, exciting storyline, and paced incredibly well; Nemesis Games is my favorite entry in the series so far. I have no idea how the second half of the series will go, but I sincerely hope they’ll be as good—or maybe even better—as this because I loved what I’ve read here. Also, I have a feeling the TV series adaptation of this book will be super awesome; maybe it’s time for me to start watching the TV show again.
I’ve read the novella, The Churn, before reading this, and it was beneficial in enriching one of the character’s background.
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