I’m eagerly awaiting the fourth installment of The Expanse this summer, but in the meantime I’ve managed to read the two novellas written that fit between other books in the series. Gods of Risk fits nicely between the action of Caliban’s War and Abaddon’s Gate, and gives a little bit of information about what is going on with Mars between the two books. At 69 pages in length, it really isn’t very long, but it is rather good.
There are two interesting things about Gods of Risk. First, the small pieces of time we get to see Bobbie dealing with the fallout of Caliban’s War, which she is taking much harder than I though when I was finished with that book. Second, the culture of the citizens on Mars and how the conflict in the solar system is impacting them. Mars has been conspicuously absent from the main books so far in the series, and it is nice to see what’s going on there.
The main plot of the novella focuses on David Draper, an intelligent student who works on the side making drugs for a local drug dealer. He is making all sorts of extra cash, keeping up with his studies, and hoping that someday he’s going to be able to escape the overbearing shadow of his parents and make a true name for himself. David is a bit clueless about social graces it seems, and he very quickly finds himself trapped in an escalating situation with the drug dealer for whom he’s supposed to be making drugs.
As a result, his aunt, Bobbie as it turns out, has to save his hide and prevent him from getting himself killed. While all of this is going on there are flashes of the unrest in the Mars colonies. Sometimes these snippets seemed a little disjointed, but it also provided a very nice window into Mars that we haven’t seen in the main books yet. Maybe someday one of the big books will focus on Mars for once, which would be nice.