I had decided not to read The Expanse – until a SFFReadalong was announced last year (willpower: I’ve heard about it), which I just couldn’t resist (I like reading with friends, okay?). And I’m ever so glad I let the gang’s enthusiasm drag me along, as it’s now one of my all-time favourite space operas. I turned the tables for SciFiMonth and dragged Lisa and M into debating the Big Question with me: sure, the tv show is good, but was the book better?

Book cover: Persepolis Rising - James S A Corey (who would have guessed - it's a close up of a spaceship in flight)Earth has almost recovered from the Free Navy’s genocidal attack. The Alliance have nearly rebuilt their depleted navies. The Belters’ Transport Union controls traffic to all the colonies beyond the Gates …except one. Now the Gate to Laconia is about to re-open. Mars’s wayward children are ready to return, and they have their own vision for the future of humanity…

Humanity has settled the stars. Earth has almost recovered from the Free Navy’s genocidal assault. The Alliance have nearly rebuilt their depleted navies. The Belters’ Transport Union controls traffic to all the colonies beyond the Gates. Except one. And the Gate to Laconia is about to re-open. Mars’s wayward children are ready to return, and they have their own vision for the future of humanity…