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Gods of Risk: An Expanse Novella by James S.A. Corey
Review by Ernest Lilley
Orbit Kindle Edition  ISBN/ITEM#: B008CJ241O
Date: 15 September 2012

Links: Authors' Wikipedia Entry / Show Official Info /

Gods of Risk follows close on the heels of James S.A. Corey's Caliban's War, with a interstitial tale about David, a young Martian biochemistry student, who turns out to be the nephew of Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper, the amazonian action hero of the previous novel. David's been cooking up drugs for a dealer on the side, though he's doing it just for kicks. Things begin to go pear shaped for him when the party girl he's got a thing for goes missing, and he gets in over his head.

Bobbie's hanging with her brother's family while she figures out what's next for her, and David's looking forward to graduating and getting assigned to a project on Mars. Unfortunately for David, his skill as a chemist has put him on a slippery slope into bad things, including cooking up drugs for a guy named Hutch, and an unhealthy attraction for Hutch's plaything, LeeLee. When LeeLee goes missing after reaching out to David for help, he finds himself juggling school, family, and the underworld all at once and hoping nobody notices. With Aunt/Gunny Sergeant Bobbie around, we know that fantasy can't last. Fortunately.

You could read this as a standalone, and it would work just fine, but you'd miss the subtext you get watching Bobbie in the background working out and watching the news stream, which is showing the repercussions of the events in the last book, in which she had to turn her back on her own planet in order to save it. She's not the center of this story, which was a bit of a disappointment, as I'd been wishing for just such a short piece to follow her decision to return home and spend some time with family. The James S.A. Corey team (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) never shy away from moving on to new characters though, and Bobbie's nephew Daniel holds the stage just fine.

I will say that $2.99 seems like a lot for a novella, and I'd like to see the authors putting it out there as a free (or cheap) taste of the product before hitting us up for the cost of a book.

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