Babylon’s Ashes Read Along Part One

Hello everyone! I’m late to join the read along for Babylon’s Ashes, but better late than never right? This week covers from the beginning up to chapter thirteen, and questions are provided by Allie of Tethyan Books. To see posts from other readers (or to join in yourself), check the Goodreads group. To see my previous posts in the series, check the tag. As always, spoilers follow.

1. We have a very different approach for viewpoint characters in this book! Do you like the change to having many different perspectives? Is there any one that stood out to you in particular?

I’m liking this change. I think it works because most of these characters have already been established by prior books. So it’s not like it’s our first time with most of these characters. I was actually anticipating the series would work this way (bringing up prior viewpoint characters again later on), although I am surprised that it didn’t happen until halfway through the series.

Avasarala’s POV stood out the most to me. She’s putting a tough face on, but she’s grieving inside.

2. We’re also beginning to see a bit more into the “Free Navy” ranks. What do you think of the people who have thrown their loyalty to Marco, and is his charisma is enough to keep the group from collapsing?

I think some of them are beginning to realize they screwed up big time. Admittedly, not because they’ve remembered that genocide and destroying a planet are bad. It’s more like, whoops this guy isn’t as competent as we think he is and is willing to throw all of us under the bus for his own personal ambition.

I loved that dig from Rosenfield (Rosefield? What’s his name?) about Marcos underestimating women. Too true! Dismissing Avasarala as a bureaucrat? That may be his undoing.

3. There’s still some discussion of the Rocinante crew. Do you agree with Holden’s perspective on Clarissa and Bobbie?

Firstly, I am beyond thrilled that they’re talking about having Bobbie join the crew. I’ve been wanting this since Caliban’s War. She’d be such a fantastic addition to the Rocinante.

I can see why Holden’s reluctant when it comes to Clarissa… but I think he should just give in already and let her join the family.

On a related note, I loved that bit where Holden compared Amos to a pit bull and was all like, “Yes, he could kill you, but you just want to hug him.” I’m basically taking this to mean that Imyril’s term “murdersnuggles” has been made canon.

4. Two sections have featured the inner thoughts of two people responsible for many deaths—Filip and Clarissa. What do you think of them now, and do you believe they are redeemable? 

I think Clarissa’s gone a ways towards redeeming herself. I don’t know if she can ever be completely resolved of what she’s done, but it’s better to try. Anyway, I’ve forgiven her at this point.

Filip… I think he could be redeemed. I also don’t know how likely it is.

I can see how he got the way he is. He was raised in a violent environment completely under the influence of his father’s personality cult. He’s seventeen and has spent his entire life in an abusive environment.

He’s also been complicit and downright active in some terrible things. And he completely does not recognize it. He buys into the idea about his father being perfection embodied, his mother being a horrible traitor, and the Earthers being the enemy and not really human.

For Filip to be redeemed would require him to completely change the way he’s thinking and behaving, and I’m not sure I see that happening. Also, attacking that security guard on Ceres is not a good look. He’s acting unhinged and violent even by Free Navy terrorist standards.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. tethyanbooks says:

    Thanks for pointing out clearly what was bothering me about even the folks turning against Marco. They’re turning against him for selfish reasons (he’s not competent enough/we’re not getting what we wanted out of this), not ideological or moral ones :(. I guess no one who thinks of Earthers as human would have joined him in the first place.

    I am also not sure Filip will ever be able to get to redemption.

    1. Yeah, Pa absolutely sees nothing wrong with killing 15 billion people.

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