I’m on record as being a big fan of James S.A. Corey’s (the pen name used by Daniel Abraham (Twitter) and Ty Franck) Expanse series, so I eagerly read the novella GODS OF RISK in advance of their next novel ABADDON’S GATE. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this was the weakest entry in the Expanse series.
GODS OF RISK takes place on Mars when tensions are growing between it and Earth. Bobbie Draper is present in the story, but she is a peripheral character. The protagonist is David Draper, her nephew. He is caught between his future as a promising researcher and his part time job as a cooker for a local drug dealer. When his friend goes missing, David must confront the dangerous dealer and risk it all.
GODS OF RISK is a well crafted short story, but it doesn’t really have any action sequences, it lacks some of the cool tech I’ve come to like in the Expanse series, and it doesn’t propel the larger Expanse story forward. It’s tangential, peripheral–it could have taken place on present day Earth, really. It’s Expanse only in name. Even Bobbie Draper seems crammed into the story.
The best part of the novella is a sneak peek at ABADDON’S GATE. Buy this if you want the sneak peek or if you want to support James S.A. Corey. Otherwise, just wait for the next novel.