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Summary

From New York Times best-selling author James S. A. Corey...

Somewhere in the vast expanse of space, a group of prisoners lives in permanent captivity.

The only company they have is each other and the Belters who guard them. The only stories they know are the triumphs and crimes that brought them there. The only future they see is an empty life in an enormous room.

And then the man from Mars comes along....

Set in the hardscrabble solar system of the Expanse, The Vital Abyss deepens James S. A. Corey's acclaimed series.

©2017 James S. A. Corey (P)2017 Little Brown Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Vital Abyss

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Astonishing

I'm a big fan of the expanse series, and this is an interesting thread which sits alongside the narrative of the first six books. It adds some intriguing details and follows events from an unusual perspective.

The real joy of this novella, though, is the superb prose and vivid characterisation of the main protagonist. This is without doubt some of the best and most sophisticated writing that science fiction has to offer.

If you're after a romp or an action fix, this isn't for you. If you're looking for an exploration of a difficult character which includes some uncomfortable empathising with a characters journey into amoral obsession then this is worth your time.

4 people found this helpful

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More Expanse gorgeousness

I don't know which of the duo who make up SA Corey does the writing, but really, it's wonderful. The guy can write. Essentially this is the portrait of a scientist caught up in research on the newly discovered protomolecule. It is from his POV and every second of it is fantastic, his complicated childhood, the poverty, the ambition and the desperation are all communicated perfectly within a couple of hours.

If you took all the sci-fi and science out you would still have a very compelling piece of story-telling. Of course, this is a short prequel to what kicks off James Holden's adventures, but it is as good as any of the Expanse novels.

Plus...Jefferson Mays.

Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent addition to Expanse universe

An alternative look at Protogen and the project that led to the release of the protomolecule on Eros station from one of the researchers involved.

2 people found this helpful

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interesting novella

OK. I bought this by accident, I thought it was part of the Expanse series. It's not in the series but it is of the series and it's actually pretty good!

Seriously, if you like the Expanse you do need this to fill in some interesting gaps.

Enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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Short but sweet.

Written by James SA Cory? Read by Jefferson Mays? They're basically just stealing my money at this point. It's good, not the most elaborate story in the expanse universe, and it's quite short, but I enjoyed it and it fills out some interesting back story

1 person found this helpful

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" The Queen bee. "

Thirty seven men and women locked together in the one large room, no privacy at all, ever. The guards could look down on them from widows near the ceiling. Belter guards, Belter food and white Belter paper overalls to wear. In the fourth year, one man died. And then the Martian arrived...

Another well crafted novella from James S.A.Carey, set in the Expanse and with further information on the protomolecule. Jefferson Mays again narrates, another excellent performance, clear, well paced, with good modulation and just the right amount of emotional content in this low key story which adds to the reader's understanding of the Expanse without actually being necessary to it. Unless, of course, you are a fan. Or simply interested and enjoy the writing.

Good story, well written and performed.
Definitely recommended.

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Interesting concept.

Basically a short story version of one of the characters in an expanse novel, explaining how they came to be who they are.

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I missed the crew

This was an interesting sideline but completely removed from the characters of the expanse series.

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Interesting side story

A difficult but interesting side story of the Protogen scientists captured during the Eros incident.

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  • Markus
  • 08-05-21

A little insight between the books

Illuminates the gaps in the books and fills the narrative. Not necessary to read but nice to have read it.

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  • nevarran
  • 09-04-19

Short, but interesting

This is a short side story that gives a little background for one of the Protogen scientists. It is an interesting peek into his mind, since it seems he'll be an important part of the next books. It's by no means essential though.

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  • Talechaser
  • 19-07-18

Interesting background for a background figure

It was interesting to hear this background story for Cortazar, giving us a bit of understanding of how he might have become the enabling sociopath we know. I did get a bit confused with the timeline: we went straight from Eros to the Gates in an eyeblink, and I wondered if I might have skipped a bit. Towards the end, Jefferson Mayes' rendition of The Martian has an amusing echo of Ron Swanson.

1 person found this helpful