I love literary allusions. Some of them I have to look up, like this one. This one I believe is a reference to a questing game, where Abaddon’s Gate is the entrance to the third and final layer of the prison built by the five gods of this game’s world. Beyond this gate lies the Heart of Abaddon, where the dark god, twisted by centuries of torment, strains against his prison. It lies at the bottom of the Realm of Madness, surrounded by constantly flowing falls, which carry the entire realm’s torment down upon the imprisoned god.
Abaddon’s Gate the novel picks up a year after the events of Caliban’s War, (and in case you have forgotten the gist of that episode of our space opera, you can refresh your memory here) For generations, the solar system — Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt — was humanity’s great frontier. Until now. The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus’s orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark.
Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.
A young Belter, the space opera counterpart to our teenagers, tries to thread the ring with his spaceship, and it sets into motion a major interplanetary incident that brings each of the major Solar System factions (Earth, Mars and the Outer Planets Alliance) to the Ring, where they begin to study the construct, and keep tabs on one another.
We lose many of the secondary characters from the previous books, but Miller the detective who died in the first book, shows up again, a phantasm constantly reminding Holden to check the doors and corners. A ghost? Have we gone paranormal? Holden manages to get the Rocinante through the gate thing without being pulverized by keeping the speed slow. He then EVAs out to what looks like a guardhouse, or something, where he meets Miller again, and learns that Miller is just a visual of the entity that is the protomolecule created to communicate with him. Insert eye roll here … why him especially? Oh, well. It’s fiction. Move on.
Meanwhile, some chick, the daughter of a bad guy who was finally brought to justice and is languishing in jail, is out for revenge on Holden, so that plot thread twists around the investigating the protomolecule thing/ring plot thread, and all in all, it is all good fun.
Several more books to go in this series. I’ll keep you posted.