LVW – CH 3 +4

Ruh-oh. The plot has moved forward much more quickly than I expected! Shit hits the fan in these two chapters.  I was ready to write about how much more I enjoyed Holden’s chapter again, but the twist at the end of Chapter 4 made me appreciate the Miller storyline.  

The Holden chapter is full of dread and suspense. We learn that a small group from The Canterbury is going to rescue The Scapuli. The mission group is small and consists of Naomi, Holden, Amos, Shed (who remains on their ship), and a new character, the ebullient pilot, Alex.  My favorite detail from these two chapters was that everyone from the Mariner Valley on Mars talks with a cowboy accent because of the small group of Texans that settled there. “The drawl was contagious.” 

There’s a lot of character building – Amos is portrayed as an Earther brute who loves guns.  He’s also a hell of a mechanic.  He’s one of the members of the team Holden assembles to go rescue whoever is on The Scapuli. Naomi gets to drive the rescue ship down to The Scapuli and when the crew needs to gain access to the ship, it is Naiomi who provides the opening. 

During the whole trip, Holden is reminded to not be the hero again.  Ok, so what happened before? That flashback chapter will be heavy.   XO Holden says that they are to bounce at the first sign of trouble.  Although, despite some of the warning signs he gets such as a hole in the side of the ship and no bodies to be found, my man presses on.

As Holden led the group to the engineering deck, I kept waiting for them to find Captain Darron’s head. I wasn’t making that up was I? Where’s Julie? All they manage to find is a black box. Holden, so dramatic, speculates that it’s a bomb.  Easy, Chief, it’s just a transmitter one of the Red Shirts relays back to Holden.  Holden decides they need to pack it up – it could be a trap sending off a signal by finding it.  Just as they are leaving they get an emergency call from Captain Creepy back on the Canterbury.  There’s a “situation.”

Meanwhile, Miller is eating dinner at his hole.  He gets a call from a bar manager he’s friendly with due to police corruption.  His partner Havlock is down at the Blue Frog, a bar that’s supposed to be a replica of a bar in Mumbai.  This chapter serves as a great excuse for doing more world building.  On the way to the bar, Holden considers how Earthers are different than Belters, we learn about how earth lighting didn’t take, and we learn there’s no windows on the train, rather advertisements.  

Havelock is all pissy because he thinks Miller got a promotion with his special assignment. Miller tells him that it’s a bullshit assignment and this seems to cheer Havelock up a little bit.  They do have an interesting discussion that has many parallels on earth.  Havelock feels as though he is a good cop, but feels he is not given a chance of who he is – an Earther.   Minorites have to deal with job discrimination constantly in the real world.  Corey puts the Earther in that position in this novel.  Miller casually mentions that Earthers and Martians are basically the same – how many times has some idiot made a similar claim about Asian cultures? Corey is building a complex world and I’m pleasantly surprised that this book is confronting these issues.

Character building aside, we do get an “oh shit” moment at the end of the chapter. By this point, Miller and Havelock are both pretty housed.  Miller’s heading to the bar for another round when he gets a chime on his terminal. Chimes everywhere in fact (I guess this bougie bar is a cop bar).  Their boss is bleary eyed and tells every officer to report (yikes, wonder if they can sober up faster on Ceres). Something happened just outside Saturn.  She’s pissed.  They cut to a man on a chair who looks shocked and raged – he says “My name is James Harden Holden.

What?!?!? I’m wondering if he is shocked and raged because they just killed a member of his crew.  Captain Shaddid is also enraged so something terrible must have happened.  Why did the perpetrators want to lay a trap and was it for Holden and company? Since they were the only ship within distance to save them, it could have been planned.  Holden knew something was up the whole time but he didn’t listen to his gut. 

I’m also wondering how the dynamic duo of Havelock and Miller are going to work through this assignment sloshed.  

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