Review of Babylon's Ashes
|Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash|
Babylon's Ashes is the sixth book in The Expanse book series. It continues the story arch in the last book -- Nemesis Games. I think this is the weakest book in the series so far. While it’s still a good book, the story was rushed. The end gives a hopeful message but very generic storywise. This is a review of the book’s written style. I will not post any spoilers.
Here is the amazon link to the book. Regard less my review, I still recommand to give it a read.
Too Many Non-Essential Characters
The expanse series is driven by personal views. That means each chapter focuses on a single character’s point of view. The story’s development is driven by those charactors’ thoughts and actions. We see what they see, and we feel what they feel. We spent time with these characters and followed their journey.
I consider the characters who don’t drive the story -- non-essential characters. This book has too many non-essential characters. Some characters only have one chapter. Not much can be developed for a character in one chapter; therefore, they don’t drive the story. They are there only to serve as a point of view -- a camera rather than a person.
I believe one of the characters is written for the fans rather than the story. I don’t think he was well planned and thought of for this book. We didn’t spend time with him in the last book. Therefore, the emotional development seemed out of nowhere. His arch seems like a build up for future books, and he isn’t integral to this book.
The problem with non-essential characters is they are fillers to the book. This book would be very short if you take them away. Then you will realise the story is rushed.
|Photo by Gábor Szűts on Unsplash|
Points of Views
The last few books were following the protagonists' point of views. We follow protagonists because we not only understand them, we also symposise with them. We see ourselves in their shoes. Usually an antagonist’s point of view was written for a redemption arch. And we see how they changed and the reasoning behind it. Therefore, we slowly switch them from antagonists to protagonists.
This is the first book (in the series) that includes the point of views of protagonists and antagonists without switching sides. The chapters of the antagonist's point of views were few and far between. They seem out of nowhere, and they don’t deliver any emotional impact. We need to spend time with them. We need to know their history and what drives their actions. Their emotional drive so to speak. This feels like an experiment, and again not fully planned out.
The ending again felt rushed. The Deus Ex Machina ending of the battle felt cheap. It’s foreshadowed, but still felt cheap after a huge build up. The book’s ending does send a positive message, which makes this book feel like the “Return of the Jedi” of the franchise.
This book reminds me of Animal Farm by George Orwell. Never believe the people who chase power have your best interest in mind. They don’t care about the poor, they just hate the rich.