Overview (No Spoilers):
After the events of Persepolis Rising, the overall prospects were left in such a dire state that it took me over a year and a half to pick up Tiamat’s Wrath despite buying this book back in 2020. Less than a chapter into this seventh book of The Expanse series, I was genuinely happy to be back into this literary world I’d so missed. Within the story, several years have elapsed with the crew of the Rocinante scattered throughout the thirteen hundred worlds. At this point in the long series, the reader is just along for the ride as the very familiar characters navigate ever evolving dangers and schemes. James Holden has become a fixture in the Laconian capitol, in essence a “dancing bear” as he gains limited freedoms by playing Duarte’s games. Naomi has retreated due to her grief and taken a key role in helping the resistance movement, though it leads to a life of isolation. Bobbie and Alex have made a new family on their stolen Laconian ship, the Gathering Storm, as they carry out various missions for the underground. Lastly and arguably most intriguing, Amos’ whereabouts are unknown as he was sent on a secret assignment to Laconia.
While the role of science has maintained a constant presence throughout The Expanse series, with the field takes a much more prominent role in Tiamat’s Wrath as we again meet up with Elvi and Fayaz, who are now leading researchers for Laconia. They are initially charged with visiting systems that have alien artifacts, but soon find out their mission has an alternative military goal that will have far ranging consequences. The scientist in me was as frustrated as Elvi with the military’s indifference to the scientific process and general short-term mindset. Regardless, Elvi’s chapters often contain significant revelations as her research yields new discoveries, though her explanations quickly went over my head.
In typical Corey fashion, as soon as the direction the story appears clear cut, a new plot twist or variable is introduced, keeping the reader on their toes. Tiamat’s Wrath continues this theme as even the definition of the enemy waxes and wanes depending on how much information a character is privy to.
Our favorite characters have escape looming death countless times at this point of the series, however as there is only one book left, Corey has several surprising deaths in store for the reader that jerks us out of complacency and adds a level of dread to every dangerous situation.
Overall, Tiamat’s Wrath is a fantastic penultimate installment as the pawns are now positioned for an action packed ending. Plus, the last exchange of the book will leave you racing to go pick up Leviathan Falls to find out what happens next.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Poor, poor Bobbie. I hated seeing her get killed. Once the team was reunited, her personality was definitely missed.
- Do the people who disappear really die? Or do they go somewhere else?
- What a great, terrible and surprising end for Cortazar. Is Duarte really still there somewhere? Will he wake up?Have the repair drones repaired anyone else? What is the purpose of this technology? Can anything actually kill Amos?
- I was so very excited to have Amos come back to life. When he was shot it was shocking because the big man seemed like such a prominent, unstoppable force. Having listened to the audiobook, it was like a lightning bolt the first time I heard Timothy talk and realized it was Amos. I’m not sure how long it would have taken me if I actually read this novel to figure it out. Though he called Teresa ‘Tiny’ from the onset you knew he had grown protective of her. This highlights the depth of these characters as from one word you know instantly the complicated emotions and connections that lie just below the surface.
- Where is Filip in all of this?
- Will Elvie be able to figure out how to beat the mysterious enemy?
- What was the original purpose of the repair drones?
- Can the Laconians rebuild their docks? What technology was lost forever?