Book Review – Nemesis Games

Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5)Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nemesis Games is the continued adventures of the Rocinante crew from the television show, The Expanse. In Nemesis Games, the crew takes separate vacations while the ship is in for repairs. Flipping back and forth between four stories should have made for a fast-paced tale. But it wasn’t well executed.

Alex’s part of the story had him go to Mars to clear the air with his ex-wife. On the way there, he spends a lot of time bemoaning his guilt and regrets. But when he finally gets to her, he tells her he wants to talk, she says no, he says okay, and he walks away. The scene goes nowhere. His need to speak with his wife is just a vehicle to get him to Mars. Later, he decides to look up Bobbie Draper while he’s there, and the story picks up. He should have planned to see her in the first place.

Amos’ side of things has him going to Earth because the woman who helped raise him has died. He spends a lot of time gnashing his teeth and vowing that if she was murdered, he would go on a vengeance spree. But when he gets there, her bereaved husband says no, her heart simply gave out in her sleep. Amos says okay and walks away. Again, the scene goes nowhere. It’s just a vehicle to get him on Earth. He later looks up Clarissa Mao, who is in prison, and the story picks up from there. The woman’s death could be cut from the book and not change anything in the story.

Naomi’s story has a legitimate beginning. But then she is kidnapped, and there is no logical reason behind the kidnapping. All we get is vague conjecture on her part.

Holden stays behind to babysit the ailing Rocinante, and while exciting things happen to him, two of those things have nothing to do with the story at hand. I can only assume they will be revisited in future books.

There is a lot of telling in this book. For instance, two people will start a conversation, and the narrator will break in to summarize the rest of the conversation instead of letting them continue talking. Also, there are more typos than in the previous books in the series. Fed instead of Fred. The instead of they. That sort of thing. I know typos are a minor thing, but they yanked me out of the story every time.

I was disappointed with Nemesis Games. However, I’m still glad I read it. I intend to continue reading the series, and at least this way I’ll know what’s going on.

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