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Publisher's Summary

Hugo Award Winner for Best Series

The fifth book in the NYT best-selling Expanse series, Nemesis Games drives the crew of the Rocinante apart, and as they struggle to survive, the inner planets fall victim to an enemy's catastrophic plan.

A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle.

Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price.

And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.

Nemesis Games is a breakneck science fiction adventure following the best-selling Cibola Burn.

The Expanse

  • Leviathan Wakes
  • Caliban's War
  • Abaddon's Gate
  • Cibola Burn
  • Nemesis Games
  • Babylon's Ashes
  • Persepolis Rising
  • Tiamat's Wrath
  • ​Leviathan Falls
  • Memory's Legion

The Expanse Short Fiction

  • Drive
  • The Butcher of Anderson Station
  • Gods of Risk
  • The Churn
  • The Vital Abyss
  • Strange Dogs
  • Auberon
  • The Sins of Our Fathers
©2015 James S.A. Corey (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

Hugo Award Winner for Best Series

Featured Article: The Best Sci-Fi Horror Audiobooks of All Time


Sci-fi and horror are two genres that just make sense together. Swap haunted mansions for abandoned space ships, ghosts for virus-created zombies and experiments gone wrong, and the eerie darkness of the woods for the deep vastness of space, and it’s easy to see why these two genres make for a classic, thrilling combination. Here are our picks for some of the best sci-fi horror audiobooks of all time.

What listeners say about Nemesis Games

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

audio fuzzy! low def

Why is the audio horribly blurry even on high def option?
The story is better than books 3, 4.
Worth while overall.

14 people found this helpful

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That epilogue!

While everyone was separated, we got more of their individual stories. This book was awesome for the character building, and really got me excited for the books ahead in the series! I love that Bobby and Clarissa will be around more, too. Definitely one of the best books in The Expanse. But that epilogue... wow. I am going to have to start the next book immediately, even though I had been planning to take a break!

7 people found this helpful

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An excellent bounce back

Nemesis Games returns the Expanse series back to top form. With the Rocinante in serious need of repair due to the events of Cibola Burn, the crew disperses to take care of personal matters. At the same time humanity takes some big steps toward self destruction and things in the solar system go from bad to worse.

Four storylines full of character background revelations bear witness to catastrophic events from different perspectives with Amos on Earth, Alex on Mars, Jim on Tycho Station, and Naomi elsewhere in the belt. Each story is an individual thrill ride until they are all eventually woven back together toward the end of the book. Once the stories do come together it becomes obvious that there is more behind the events than meets the eye, but those details are left dangling for a reveal in the next book.

It is a blast to get more insight into the background of the Rocinante's crew with a healthy dose of Bobbi and Avasarala on top. Nemesis Games is a great all around story that any fan of the series won't want to miss. If you decided not to go for Cibola Burn because of the negative feedback on the narrator change then just skip it and come straight here. You will be glad you did.

44 people found this helpful

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Terrifically fun, though increasingly predictable

After a disappointing prior book, Nemesis Games returns the Expanse series to fun form, though it increasingly seems like each book is written as an action movie (perhaps no surprise, given the TV adaptation) rather than the hard-ish science fiction that characterized the first couple of novels. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I really enjoyed the story, but you should know what you are in for.

As an action adventure movie, this book is terrific: there are narrow escapes, thrilling fights, and giant set piece events scattered throughout. The characters we have grown to love all get to star in their own adventures, and get to be clever and resourceful in their own ways.The bad guys are mustache-twirllingly bad, the good guys articulate why they are good in stirring speeches, and everything feels remarkably satisfying. There were times where I couldn't stop listening to see how the next cliffhanger was resolved.

As a more realistic science fiction novel, there are a number of problems. First, the entire plot is laid out clearly and telegraphed repeatedly (the writers seem to have taken the advice about Chekhov's Gun to heart - almost every character or subplot introduced in the book plays an important point in the plot later). The science behind the fiction is also dropping a way a bit, as ever more implausible events happen to propel things forward. Strangely, however, the events are not implausible enough either: the giant galaxy-spanning mysterious aliens plotline takes a backseat to Solar System heroics, for better or worse. Also, though each character gets a lot of "screen time" and some revelations about their past, actual character development remains rather slight, and the musings on family and crew are nothing new to the series, nor are the psychopathic bad guys.

So, given all of these issues, why five stars? Because the book was incredibly fun, and I have finally accepted the series as the space fantasy action movie it clearly wants to be. If you are coming expecting hard science fiction and semi-realistic plots, it is likely to be three stars. I can't wait for the next book, however...

53 people found this helpful

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Worth several listens

Wish I could give it 10 stars and I sure wish there were more of these. When you get to my age and have read so very many books and a clearly outstanding series like this comes along... well, it is sweet. I like what they are saying: 'like Game of Thrones but with more space ships and less beheadings'. Same kind of grab on and don't let go stories. Happy to see Jefferson Mays is back as the narrator.

12 people found this helpful

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Descends into midlevel TV series territory

I like stories that have an arc that comes to a satisfying conclusion. The first 3 Expanse stories had that arc, which was extended pretty well by the 4th. But this book feels more like an effort to keep everything going on and on forever to sell more material. A new story line is introduced that is clearly designed to fuel several more lucrative books, so is not resolved in this one. There are flashes of good writing--the authors have it in them to do insightful scenes when they try--but those flashes are outnumbered by soap opera and repetitive tropes. The authors have gotten lazy. Too bad...the earlier books revived my interest in this kind of science fiction.
Spoiler alert:
Billions of people on Earth are murdered, but the emotional impact on the survivors...including the book's lead characters...seems less than it was for me just reading about it. Such a mind-boggling disaster would have to produce PSD-like symptoms, but the plot just keeps trundling along. And the motivation for the greatest genocidal event in human history is wholly inadequate...the bad guys have a reason, but it's hard to believe that they are bad enough to think killing billions is justified.

3 people found this helpful

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Welcome back Jefferson Mays

For some reason, the producers used a different narrator on the last Corey novel. This wouldn't be so bad if the characters Mr. Mays interprets were not becoming his own. Mays ability to act the various characters really brings these stories to life and in so doing makes some of the less interesting moments of the story compelling.

Nemesis Games sets up another adventure for the crew of the Rocinante, broadening our knowledge of the main characters and compels the listener to happily anticipate the next in the series.

A shorter story than its predecessors, it delivers with great cliff hangers, faster plot development and pacing.

I enjoyed this story and think any fan of the series will too.

14 people found this helpful

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Weakest link

This book simply left me annoyed. It seemed to be a bit too crafted and calculated to fit like a puzzle. I'm hopefully the next book can get back on track.

5 people found this helpful

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Another winner!

Where does Nemesis Games rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty high, the story is solid and Jefferson Mays does an excellent job narrating, making none of the mistakes that can pull you out of the story.

What did you like best about this story?

I like that we get to see a bit more of the major players' backstories and that they're given room to grow by being separated through much of the book.

Which scene was your favorite?

Laughed out loud when our favorite foul mouthed politician was given a pet name.

Any additional comments?

This is my favorite series, every book is different, I never know where they're going to take the story next, but wherever it goes, I can be sure I'll enjoy the ride. And Audible - if you're paying attention, maybe think about going back to the previous volume and having Mays do an alternate narration - I'm sure I won't be the only one to buy it.

8 people found this helpful

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Best Entry of the Series - Five BIG Stars

Any additional comments?

First, yes, Jefferson Mays is back as narrator. While I didn't personally think the narration of Cibola Burn was all that horrible, it is nice to have Mays back. Second, I felt this series seriously running out of steam after Cibola Burn. The series felt artificially stretched and was starting to show definite signs of losing the punch that made the first three books so memorable. I am here to announce that Nemesis Games represents a massive right-turn for this series. For the first time the crew of the Rocinante is split up and scattered, each to tell their own story and give us some much needed background. These personal journeys are set against a backdrop of interstellar war that makes all the previous conflicts seem like minor skirmishes. As always, these stories are steeped in modern day social issues, racism and economic equality, etc. While a few familiar characters from previous novels return, there is no new cast guest stars here, which I found added a level of complexity to this novel, easily making it most personal of the series. Five big BIG stars for Nemesis Games.

18 people found this helpful