Last night I finished the ninth and final book in The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey.
So many series, be it books or movies or television, have disappointing finales. There’s a very short list of good endings to long running series, and this is absolutely in there!
My introduction to The Expanse was the first season of the television series. It didn’t really hold my interest until the very last scene that introduced an alien goo taking over people. Before that it just felt like generic grim-dark sci-fi to me. That ending intrigued me enough to dig into the books… and I immediately fell in love with the story. The second season on of the tv series was of course excellent as well.
What I love about the books in particular is that in the midst of all these sci-fi events and crazy plot twists and conspiracies and battles we had a cast of very down to earth and funny characters. The books are actually pretty damn funny in between the life and death moments. And the story consistently went into unexpected places. Each book fundamentally altered the state of humanity in a major way, steadily taking us from a small little sci-fi noir/conspiracy tale to extra-dimensional dark gods from beyond trying to wipe out humanity. And the evolution was so subtle and well done it never felt out of place.
I won’t go into spoilers on how the series ends, but I found everything about it to be dramatically satisfying. The characters ended up in good places, dramatically speaking. It’s a shame the authors will never return to this franchise outside of a short story in a March collection. I’d love to see where things go from here, but they absolutely left it at the perfect stopping point.