Babylon’s Ashes by James S. A. Corey

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

Honestly, I feel like a broken record but I just can’t get over how much this series has evolved and grown from its first installment that was ok at best. Moreover, how am I already six books into The Expanse series! Repeating this now familiar pattern, Corey starts out his book from the perspective of characters who are familiar, but thus far had occupied relatively minor, brief roles. These new points not only created another character for Corey to draw upon, but also added depth to already established personas by observing them through another’s eyes. I’ve enjoyed guessing as to which character Corey will promote and expand upon in the next novels, though have yet to have a prediction prove correct. I could hardly bring myself to put down Babylon’s Ashes, though, that being said, the pace often crawled with the amount of political maneuvering and self-reflection that took place in the aftermath of the disasters orchestrated in the Nemesis Games. While the posturing often grew tiresome, it was apparent that Corey was moving pawns into place for the next stage of the series. While much of the other installments were focused on action and battle, in Babylon’s Ashes we see increased emphasis on character development from Holden’s ponderings to Alex and Amos’ inner musings. Overall, Babylon’s Ashes significantly developed this literary expanse, by actively evolving familiar characters through alternating series of suspenseful, dangerous sequences with long periods of soul searching.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • I must know, has anyone watched the TV show that is based on this series? Is it worth diving into?
  • Marco’s decent into terrible decisions seems so out of character after his long patient climb to his success. Sure he seemed always have some crazy in him but his tunnel vision over Naomi and Holden blew apart all of his careful plans.
  • I was so happy Filip left Marco. It took long enough. Will he ever be able to make up for the deaths he is responsible for?
  • Poor Chrisjen!  Perhaps her husband will somehow emerge alive?
  • I’ve enjoyed seeing Clarissa, aka Peaches, grow into one of the crew members even with Holden’s reservations.
  • I’ve grown so used to Corey saving his main characters from all sorts of terrible situations that I was genuinely surprised and sad at the unexpected passing of Fred Johnson. The series will miss him!
  • I enjoyed the reemergence of an old familiar character in Prax! I’d wondered how his life had evolved since we’d last seen him.
  • What is actually going on beyond the Laconia gate?





  1. To answer your first question: yes, yes, yes! Do watch the series!! Don’t expect it to be the same, as the characters do not age and many are cut out. Some of the relationships that you mention are not explored, but then again, the series lags behind the books. I began by watching the series and then read the books, so my experience is different than yours. Perhaps you will be disappointed. In my mind, the two have reached a pleasing gestalt. But this is the best s/f series I’ve watched so far and I’ve been reading/watching s/f since the 70s. The actors are a delight and the special effects impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeeeees they just keep getting more addictive and yeeeeees watch the show too. I don’t think it’s perfect, but I like some of the changes they make (like bringing Avasarala in from the start) and it works on its own terms even if you can sometimes see the edges of the budget 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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