Man, what a ride. Great book, amazing series.
So this is more of a review of the series than this final book in particular. It has been some adventure. The first book is almost a standalone, with Miller’s chapters feeling completely different than the rest of the series. Then we have the duology of the next books which bring us to the opening of the gates. We then have another standalone in Cibola Burn before another duology detailing Marko Inaros and the Free Navy before ending with this trilogy and the fight with Laconia and the enemy of the protomolecule builders.
I also think that this is one of the best cast of characters I’ve ever read and then says something. Yes each can be annoying but that’s realistic yeah? They’ve grown and changed but still seem recognizably themselves which reminds me of my own friends, some I’ve known over thirty years and though obviously they’ve changed, they still remind me of the kids we were. I also really like how many potential conflicts between them were solved fairly easily, usually by talking it out; mad stuff I know!
The story is also truly epic. I’d thought it was big at the start with most of the solar system colonized to some degree but obviously that didn’t last after book 3. Yes there were outright ‘villains’ to deal with but honestly most of time I could see where they were coming from. They might have come to some crazy solutions (looking at Marcos here) but they mostly all had legitimate concerns and problems with the establishment they were fighting against. It all gave a very realistic vibe to the series, sometimes depressingly so.
On a related note, I think the show was hard done by as I found the last series a bit of a letdown. It was too short and I still don’t know why they included the Strange Dogs short story unless they were going to do something with these last three books. It needed more time to spend with these characters like we got here and because they had to leave the whole protomolecule part completely out, it felt like you were missing half the story. Thankfully we got nearly all our questions answered here. It was sad but not unexpected.
This is one of the first science fiction series I’ve truly gotten invested in and I am so glad the author’s nailed the ending, for such an epic series it deserved it.