May 31, 2022

Review: Memory's Legion

Memory's Legion Memory's Legion by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is definitely for Expanse completists. There is one new story, "The Sins of Our Fathers," which reveals what happened to Filip Nagata after the ring station was destroyed and he was stranded with a small group on a colony planet. The rest of the stories flesh out side characters and give backstory to some of the main ones, such as the fan-favorite "The Churn," which explores Amos' backstory in Baltimore (and his creepy sexual relationship as a teenager with the older woman he was living with) and "The Vital Abyss," a nasty little horror tale about one of the scientists who developed the alien protomolecule and used it to experiment on people. Some of the stories were filmed in the series, such as "Drive" and "Strange Dogs."

In reading the stories, it struck me how straightforward and workmanlike the prose style is, even more so than the novels. In a way, this story collection doesn't do the author(s) any favors, because absent the twisty plots and breakneck pacing of the novels, these shorter works expose the fact that the prose doesn't really sing. I mean, it's okay, but there's very few memorable turns of phrase or beautiful flow. It's adequate at best, and you as a reader may be happy with that. I just wish the author(s) had pushed themselves stylistically a bit more.

Nevertheless, these stories fill in some of the side points and unanswered questions in the novels. They're not really necessary to enjoy the main series, however, with the possible exception of "The Churn."

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