SF/F Read Alongs: Nemesis Games, Part 2

In the second part of Nemesis Games, I spoke waaaaay too soon about having breathing room.

Holy CRAP.

Our host this week is imyril over at There’s Always Room For One More, and we’re covering chapters 13 to 25. Spoilers follow!

 

Banner by Sarah at The Illustrated Page

 

Woah. Okay, was anybody expecting this level of drama? Prediction time: what will Marco do next? Any thoughts on who his mysterious allies are?

Hahahahahahaha oh god I was not ready.

Marco. Marco, Marco, Marco. You utter bastard. Wow.

Ahem. OK. So. His allies … I’ll confess, I don’t really have much of a coherent thought to spare for theories about that, except for the pretty strong suspicion that he’s going to turn out to be another Anthony Dresden/Jules-Pierre Mao type. Only, you know, more chaotic in nature. I would be entirely inclined to roll my eyes at the idea, but for that last and rather important point. Marco’s actions, if he is indeed orchestrating all of this, are blindsiding everybody. Including me. This means I have absolutely no idea what he’s doing next or why, precisely, he’s doing it. Somehow I doubt that his motives are as cut and dried as those of the angry Belters following him – and that’s before we even get to the fact that Naomi is so closely tied to him.

I do also suspect some personal motivation, in that sense. Let’s not forget that a) he wanted the Rocinante along with her, and b) we still don’t know why…

 

So Earth is full apocalypse. The Secretary General is dead. The Martian President may be dead too, but Mars was pretty much flailing anyway. What Should Fred Do? (and will Holden approve?)

I am rooting so, so hard for Fred to pull off something insane and hardcore and brilliant here (and no, you can bet your boots Holden will not approve). This book has surprised me in the sense that, where I had grudging respect for Fred before, now I am all about him being the one to hold the line and if I want nothing else from this book, I want that. GO FRED.

… That said, on the other hand I am now officially terrified that the exact opposite is going to happen and that the chaotic trifecta is going to be complete with the loss of Fred Johnson.

If anybody needs me, I’ll be hiding in the nearest bunker. I can’t handle this!

 

All of Naomi’s past is laid bare for us now. Will she save Filip’s soul? Is she right to try? 

*Deep breath* OK, full serious mode for a few minutes here, because this thread of the story is just straight up punching me in the emotions, and I don’t mean any of the soft emotions. All of the signs that point to an extremely emotionally abusive past relationship with Marco here, and all the signs that Naomi is still not entirely free of it, are both giving me rage on her behalf and making me deeply uneasy, because the absolute last thing I want to see is Naomi being victimised all over again like that.

What helps, to some extent, is the strength of the writing in that respect. Naomi has had enough time and distance from her old life that she knows, in her head, what an emotional minefield she’s standing in and why it’s so dangerous for her. She KNOWS what kind of person Marco is, but those old scars are not beyond being reopened just because she’s intellectually aware of the situation. Her heart is a whole different story, and a large part of the reason for that is that her own son, the child she had with Marco, is being used against her.

I fucking hate this guy, and we haven’t even properly met him yet.

Will she save Filip’s soul? I honestly don’t know. I hope so. I want to believe that some goodness will come out of this and that her son will at least see sense and walk away, if not redeem himself and try to help her out.

That said, my choice of words there was not random. Filip might be in the position his mother was in years ago where Marco’s concerned, but part of me can’t help feeling that he’s still making his own choices past a certain point. He’s proud of having played a part in killing millions of people, and you can’t just take that back. Is he truly his father’s son, or is all of this a mask for the same fear that Naomi had to try to bury before she found the strength to walk away?

All of this is killing me. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!

 

Who are you most worried about/for?

OH GOD EVERYBODY. JUST EVERYBODY.

But really – in a prominent, “immediate danger” sense, I’m definitely very worried for Fred, and for Amos, who lest we forget is presently TRAPPED UNDERGROUND ON EARTH. Then there’s Alex and Bobbie, who are presently RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIG FUCKING SPACE BATTLE.

God damn it, if any of them get killed I WILL NOT BE OKAY.

*Deeper breath* All right. I’m going back in. I can’t take this anymore. I NEED TO KNOW THINGS.

4 thoughts on “SF/F Read Alongs: Nemesis Games, Part 2

  1. I’m also really scared Fred will die. It wouldn’t have occurred to me before this book, but so many things didn’t! And our POV characters — I don’t want them to die either. Ahhh, I just need everyone to be safe and happy back on the Roci.

  2. I think we all needed tea and hugs after this week. YEEEEESH.

    My best take on the Rocinante is that Marco doesn’t want her for her tech or her guns – he’s got plenty of Martian ships of his own. He has to want her for her reputation, surely? The Roci is famous in her own right, and while he can’t think he’d ever talk Jim Holden into supporting him, he’s either certain enough of his ability to spin her participation without mentioning Holden – or (maybe more likely) he was planning to very very publicly destroy the Roci and Jim Holden alongside Earth, Mars and Tycho. No more defenders of known civilisation. Even Jim Holden can’t save you this time. That sort of thing.

      1. Yes. And since Miller died, villains have generally got away with a prison sentence.

        Not this one, please.

        This one needs to be shot into the sun or something.

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