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  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JustaStaffer View Post
    There's not a lot of science substance, that's for sure. I think the novel is more horror/noir than Science Fiction. It's Sci-Fi only in the fact it's set in space. I really liked it because of that...

    Sci-Fi can be the means and not the end. I think that's what Abraham and Franck are up to here.
    This exactly. This book is not really about science. It.just happens to be set in space. In the back there is an interview where the author sort of points that out. He talks a bit about how not many explanations are given. The esptein drive being his example. Not once did he try to explain it. In his world it simply is.

    Compare that to David Weber. He is not writing hard sci fi but still spends pages and pages explaining impelled wedges.

    I thought the book was great and can't wait for the next. I really got into the idea of what we do with knowledge gained through other than moral means...once the evil deed is done and we have the results is it ethical to.use them. Very much like stuff gathered from Nazi and some of therapy done in concentration camps.

  2. #17
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    hmm at $US16.40 too expensive to order, but glad to hear comments for future reference, ty

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by s271 View Post
    I'm not against liberties with science, I'm against internal inconsistency.
    Exactly this. Something I am liking about the book (I'm about halfway through, I think- ereader version with a free book tacked on so I'm not sure) is that while I haven't noticed any glaring inconsistencies with the science, I like they way its not really being discussed. You see a bit more in the Holden chapters, while the Miller chapters seem to deal more with the sociology.

    I did find it interesting that the people of Earth/Mars are considered the has versus the belter have nots. (at least so far) I'm not sure how much of that is belter perception from both the "the grass is always greener" and the fact that most of the corporations that seem to own the belt cities are Earth or Mars basted. So far the main negative we've heard about Earth is no green in the cities and some population control measures. Neither of which are surprising. I'm not sure if we learn more about Earth, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were still some bad poverty issues. . . I figure its got to take some money to emigrate.

  4. #19
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Just now finished this one up and had a read through the thread.

    First thought on finishing: I liked it. But I am in the camp that doesn't need every little bit of science to work completely to enjoy a book. That said, I didn't think the science was that terrible. The thing about stopping in space, they very often talked about matching velocities and vectors and such in relation to stopping. But aside from all that, I didn't think the point of the story was the science. Sure, use that as a metric for books that are actually exploring a scientific concept with the story. This isn't that. This is a big old story about nasty alien life getting loose in the solar system and how various human elements contribute to that either politically or personally. And on that level, I thought it worked quite well. I think they were going for B movie vibe...but more like an A movie in the style of a B movie...

    Rob mentions Firefly in his review above. I didn't really get that feel for Holden's crew EXCEPT for Naomi.....I couldn't think of her in any way other than Zoe for some reason...from the descriptions to her comments to her carriage to her XO style, it all just said "This is Zoe" to me, which was fine, as I like Zoe a lot as a character.

    I also thought Holden/Miller were pretty well-drawn, with some interesting conflict between them and their personality types. Miller's descent to suicidal wasn't really as convincing as other aspects of the book for me, and I wish that had been done a little better, as I think that's something I'd have really latched onto as something to like a lot.

    One thing that did bother me a bit about it was the pretty rigid 10-pages-per-character style of chapters. There were times when I thought the story would be better served by sticking to one or the other just a bit longer than that. It wasn't a huge deal, but a few situations didn't quite work out for me given the way they did it.

    This one wasn't really on my radar before it was picked for BOTM, but I'll definitely be picking up the subsequent books at some point down the line.

  5. #20
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I started it last night, and it read better than I was expecting.

    The characters seem fairly interesting, although I'm not sure about the physical aspects of the Belters. It seems really odd to me. Anyway, the characters I've read about so far seem to feel quite natural and there's a nice variety about.

    My only gripe so far is the obsession with a certain liquid in the prologue. That annoyed me a bit.

  6. #21
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    The characters seem fairly interesting, although I'm not sure about the physical aspects of the Belters. It seems really odd to me. Anyway, the characters I've read about so far seem to feel quite natural and there's a nice variety about.

    My only gripe so far is the obsession with a certain liquid in the prologue. That annoyed me a bit.
    The physical traits of Belters is pretty common among low-gravity folk in SF. Nothing to hold the upward growth in check, so the body tends to grow up a bit more.

    And I imagine the storage of bodily waste is a major concern for someone living in a space suit for a week, as is the amount of water or oxygen one has to live on.

  7. #22
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    The physical traits of Belters is pretty common among low-gravity folk in SF. Nothing to hold the upward growth in check, so the body tends to grow up a bit more.
    Mayhaps, it just seems a bit... I don't know, the thinness seems a bit odd to me. Surely they'd snap like a twig if they're as thin as they're said to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    And I imagine the storage of bodily waste is a major concern for someone living in a space suit for a week, as is the amount of water or oxygen one has to live on.
    I agree, but I didn't think she was actually in a space suit.
    Spoiler:
    I'm sure it said she opened a spacesuit in the room she was in and used it for waste and water after a few days.
    But that wasn't what annoyed me, because it was fairly realistic, it was the way it was mentioned a few times. Plus that whole "the piss" and "piss this" and "piss that" malarkey the author(s) went on about. There are other words in existence for waste products, and I'm guessing someone space-trained would likely know that wasting your widdle is a bit daft if you're low on water.

  8. #23
    I just finished the book. I'm not sure about the ending (no spoilers here) I'm really not sure if I like the unfinished details, or whether they seem too obviously brought up since this is to be the first of a series.

    Characterizations overall I liked. They were a bit cliche, but that's usually a given in a space opera- or a detective story, which seemed a lot of the inspiration for the Miller stories. Fred never seemed a real person to me, as well as the fourth person on the Roci the pilot. . . I think it says something that I can remember names of people who only appeared a few times in the Miller chapters, but can't remember one of the four people who was in the Holden. Part of this I think goes back to the voices chosen for the main characters though- Miller was (despite being a burnout) more people aware than Holden in many ways.

    I can see the similarities with Firefly mentioned upthread, though except perhaps for Naomi/Zoe, I'm not sure it holds up beyond the both crews were in some ways cliche. But then, things become cliche because they work, right?

  9. #24
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Actually, the problem I had with Holden's crew was that there was an Alex and an Amos, both 4-letter A-names. I do remember them both now, but they did get terribly confused in my mind for a while. Which is the pilot? Which is the engine room guy? And which background went with each of them? Eventually they did stick, but I can see the problem there.

    Nothing really bothered me about the ending. This arc seemed sufficiently wrapped for my tastes. What precisely bothered you about it? And feel free to post spoilers. BOTM threads are spoiler zones. Any and all of the book is fair game all the time.

  10. #25
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Erfy, I read further last night and I see how they worked around the physical 'weakness' I thought Belters would have, so that's cleared up my problem.

    I've been getting a little confused between Miller and Havelock, but I kinda feel like I'm getting there with them.

    There's a lot of info to take in within a few pages, but hopefully it's going to start clicking.

  11. #26
    Thanks for Alex's name. It may be that it was also an A name, and I'm traditionally horrible with names anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    Nothing really bothered me about the ending. This arc seemed sufficiently wrapped for my tastes. What precisely bothered you about it? And feel free to post spoilers. BOTM threads are spoiler zones. Any and all of the book is fair game all the time.
    I saw that someone who is following the thread and has been posting is still fairly early in the book.

    My problem was predominantly the Fred chapter. First of all, Fred wasn't ever a fleshed out character for me, and switching to his POV was fairly jarring. I'd gotten used to the the slightly different styles of the Miller and Holden chapters. Stylistically, it made sense to have a different character for the epilogue to balance the Julie opener. However the content of that chapter brought attention to pretty much all the loose ends. It felt like a spotlight. I mean, we *knew* we didn't know the details of what was happening on Venus, or the political ramifications to Havelock and his crew, or the outcome of the Earth/Mars/Belt conflict. I don't mind loose ends, it was the way they were emphasized- it really reminded me of the current trend in having a teaser after the credits that leads into next summer's (or later) sequel. I'd have been happier if the book ended at the end of either the last Miller or last Holden chapter. The "Cap'n, you are seriously harshing my buzz" and the "Don't worry, we're going to be fine" just seemed more an end than "On the other, the stars" Fred's line was meant to be an opener for his speech.

    Another thought I had, was the shift from "vomit zombies" (which I loved by the way) to protomolecule. I think it was a very good lead in to the eventual resolution, which also mimics the perception of the main players. Vomit zombies are a universal threat, while the protomolecule is an asset and potentially a misunderstood lifeform.

    By the way, pulling out quotes using this ereader is really a pain LOL. While I love reading on it, it'll never replace flipping through a book

  12. #27
    Read this over a long plane right, which felt like a short plane ride because of it. I loved the fact that it was short on fat despite being a pretty hefty book. I was pleasantly surprised by how the author(s?) escalated the stakes exponentially. I thought they were out of surprises and then THAT thing happened on THAT moon. Then it really got messy.

    I don't mind cliches as long as they are tied together in an entertaining and seamless fashion. The only thing that didn't quite feel right was Miller's sudden obsession with Julie. The development was a bit sudden and not entirely plausible in my view.

    I wish I had some clue where this Expanse series is going to go. I don't see how they can keep up with the breathtaking pace for a few more novels.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by StoneBurner View Post
    I don't mind cliches as long as they are tied together in an entertaining and seamless fashion. The only thing that didn't quite feel right was Miller's sudden obsession with Julie. The development was a bit sudden and not entirely plausible in my view.
    I'd have to look at the earlier chapters, but I seem to remember him doing pretty much the same thing with his ex-wife. I think more than developing an obsession, he transferred an existing one onto Julie. His issues predated the novel- which may have been the only reason he was able to act the way he did. I think Fred had a point when he pointed out that a burnt out cop was no one's idea of a hero, but I don't think anyone else could have made it work.

    For that matter, what's with the prologue and epilogue being first names while the rest are last names. I just realized it. LOL

  14. #29
    I admit I dallied with having a problem with how fast and deep the 'obsession' with Julie developed but I agree it was consistent enough with the character essentially having a breakdown of sorts.

  15. #30
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneBurner View Post

    I don't mind cliches as long as they are tied together in an entertaining and seamless fashion. The only thing that didn't quite feel right was Miller's sudden obsession with Julie. The development was a bit sudden and not entirely plausible in my view.
    Conversely, I felt Corey built on the obsession in a plausible fashion. It grew over time until it consumed him in a believable way.

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