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Books

If you enjoyed The Expanse on TV, read the books

I have been reading James S.A. Corey‘s “The Expanse” books and I just finished the 3rd one. I thought I’d share my reviews on GoodReads here too.

We watched the first season and enjoyed it but it was a bit different to the books. As good as the TV series was, this is one of those times when it is worth reading the books for the bigger picture (especially the first one which is what the TV series seems to be based on).

Book 1 – Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started reading this soon after we started watching the TV series “The Expanse”. The TV series departs from the book (we’re about 2 episodes in) but the book is a pretty good story. I enjoyed the first book and have started the second.

Book 2 – Caliban’s War

Caliban's War (Expanse, #2)Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a great follow-on from the first book and introduction to the series. I really liked some of the new characters, especially the star Martian Marine. This book also develops the Rocinante crew further as a more cohesive crew.

Book 3 – Abaddon’s Gate

Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3)Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was pretty good although not as good as the first two. The storyline worked but there were times when it seemed a bit overdone, a little too cliche’d. Leaving that aside, if you enjoyed the first two keep going with this one. I have already bought the 4th book and I’ll start that soon.

Book 4 – Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn (Expanse, #4)Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this one more than the previous book although I am starting to feel as if Corey is channeling Tom Clancy a bit. This was an interesting story and it developed the storyline nicely. I’m tempted to start the next book right away (the one reason I am hesitating is because this series is becoming a bit of an addiction).

Book 5 – Nemesis Games

Nemesis Games (Expanse, #5)Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was worth reading but it lacked the edge of the earlier Expanse books. I keep feeling as if this series is becoming a sci-fi Tom Clancy series. Fun to read but a bit too camp and predictable.

Book 6 – Babylon’s Ashes

Babylon's Ashes (Expanse, #6)Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was probably one of the better Expanse books. It was a story that encompassed a number of characters, some of whom seemed pretty peripheral (although I suspect they will be more prominent in the next book). I enjoyed reading it.

View all my reviews

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People Television

The story behind the Belter language in The Expanse

We’ve started watching “The Expanse” and it is definitely worth watching if you are a sci-fi fan. One of the features of the show (and the books) is the Belter language or dialect which can be a little challenging to understand at times. At the same time, it adds a whole dimension to the story that would ordinarily be lacking without it. Are Technica has an article about Nick Farmer titled “Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse”, the linguist who helped create Belter creole. Interesting to watch if you are curious about how languages are developed for TV shows and movies.

If you haven’t watched The Expanse yet, here is a trailer:

I’ve been reading the books and there is definitely a difference between the books and the TV series storylines. They seem to proceed more or less in parallel but there are features in the TV series which are sometimes at odds with the books. I’ve pretty much decided to treat the two storylines as related but distinct.

If you are really curious, you can also follow Nick Farmer on Twitter for more insight into the language he helped create:

If you also enjoy the show, take a look at my previous post about it and the article written by Martin Rezny about The Expanse’s value as a hard sci-fi show:

“Meanwhile on Stargate, 95% of planets are Canada”

Image credit: Hubble Feathers the Peacock by NASA’s Goddard Flight Space Center, licensed CC BY 2.0