Tiamat's Wrath is the eighth novel in The Expanse series. It was originally projected to be released on December 4, 2018, a year after the preceding novel, Persepolis Rising. However, production delays with the publisher postponed the release to March 26, 2019.
Its title and cover were revealed on April 3, 2018.
In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.
At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father's godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn't guess.
And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte's authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia's eternal rule - and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose - seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough...
Aboard the Gathering Storm, Captain Bobbie Draper leads a team including Alex Kamal on a daring mission to intercept a Laconian transport ship. Bobbie's team fails at its primary mission capturing a political officer alive. However, they capture Laconian supplies including fuel cells and five antimatter containers.
Naomi starts the book in a shipping container carried by the transport union. She is able to communicate with the resistance using torpedoes carrying messages. Unlike Bobbie, Naomi initially advocates resisting the Laconians by trying to infiltrate the system from within. Durante attempts to lure Naomi out of hiding by offering to let her live as a prisoner with Holden on Laconia. Naomi's vessel is boarded, but the transport union personnel are able to cover for her presence.
Elvi Okoye leads a scientific mission for the Laconian Empire, on a ship specifically made for the mission, the Falcon, which has liquid G chambers, where crew a capable of sustaining 20G. The Falcon flies around with a person that was sent to Cortazar's lab, The Pens. The mission which Elvi is tasked to do, is fly around system to system doing scientific studies in the unexplored systems which may have Protomolecule artifacts, which they will test using the person infected with Protomolecule, similar to how The Investigator activated and disabled protomolecule assets, just by being present. The mission that Elvi does not know about is the Laconian's Military objective of finding a relatively sparse and uninhabited system to conduct military weapons tests. During her travels, Elvi and her crew find a system with a large diamond like structure that could be a Rosetta Stone of the Ring Builder but the Falcon's crew is ordered to leave before any serious study can be done. The next system they arrive in is Tecoma system, a system that is empty of any planets or space material. The only thing in the system is a neutron star and it's oddly placed ring gate, which is much closer to the system's star than normal and above it. The Falcon's study of the system is then used by Winston Duarte and the Laconian military to use this system to conduct a weapon test since the Tecoma system met their requirements of a sparse system.
In a strange interpretation of game theory, Duarte believes that he needs to "punish" the Unknown Aggressors that are believed to be making ships disappear. In order to do so, Duarte gives the command for the experiment to send a Laconian ship filled with explosives into the Ring network with the Tecoma gate. When the test is conducted, the ship phases between the gates and explodes. The experiment then goes wrong when the Unknown aggressors destabilize the Tecoma system's neutron star. Fearing a possible gamma ray burst hitting the Tecoma gate, the Falcon attempts to escape and retreats into the slow zone. Then as feared, the neutron star releases about 10 billion years of Sol's energy in one gamma ray burst. This gamma ray burst not only destroys own systems gate but also the Thanjavur gate, which is on the opposite side of the Slow zone. Following this, another missing time skip event occurs throughout the gate network, similar to when Pallas Station was destroyed. The Falcon is nearly destroyed by strange events in the time skip, but Elvi is capable of navigating the Falcon out of danger and into the slow zone. Unfortunately, half the crew dies from injuries caused during the time skip and the rest surviving but are also all injured. Elvi is herself losses a piece of her leg missing. Everything in the Slow Zone is either killed or destroyed following the time skip. This includes Medina Station, the Eye of the Typhoon, and Saba, the leader of the underground.
When Naomi finally arrives at her destination, she meets up with the local underground who she knew during her Fred Johnson days. After learning of Saba's fate, Naomi takes over as leader of the Medina Station Resistance, she sends out her plans to everyone in the resistance she can contact. While Naomi still wants a peaceful solution, she understands the need to negotiate from a place of strength. With the destruction of the Typhoon in the slow zone, the Laconians are not able to control the ring network like they once had.
After consulting with Naomi, Bobbie and Alex head out on a mission to destroy the Tempest, one of only two Magnetar-class Ships, since the Eye of the Typhoon was also destroyed when gamma ray burst went through the Slow Zone. Using knowledge they gained from the transport ship intercept, they use a blind spot in the Tempest's sensor view, in order to get Bobbie and a copilot in a small tea kettle ship close enough so they can send a small rocket with an antimatter bomb attached to destroy the Tempest. Unfortunately, Bobbie's ship takes PDC damage upon approach. Bobbie's copilot is dead but the antimatter bombs are untouched. Seeing that she will no longer be able to get the antimatter bombs close with the rockets they had, she takes a final measure of using her Laconian Power Armor thruster's to accelerate the antimatter bomb towards the Tempest. Bobbie realizing there is no chance she can be saved, uses the remaining amount of bullets she has to get into the sensor range of the Tempest which kills her with a rail gun strike. She does this to prevent Alex from making any dangerous rescue plans. As Storm retreats from the Tempest, the antimatter bombs explode destroying the Tempest, also destroying the remaining antimatter bombs. The crew of the Storm receives a large amount of radiation in the blast.
After receiving the sad news of Bobbie's death, Alex reveals that he is heading back to Freehold to unwrap the Rocinante for the upcoming fight that Naomi is planning. Naomi who continues in as Saba's successor heads to Freehold to meet up with Alex who she assists in getting the Rocinante in ship shape for an atmosphere launch. Soon enough they are ready to head off into space to get "closer" to the Ring Gates for "better" communications. While in transit the Rocinante is hit with another time skip event. This event only affects three systems but lasts 20 minutes, longer than the previous events.
On Laconia, we follow most of the events through the point of view Teresa the daughter of High Consul Durate. She lives a busy life on Laconia and has little freedom. Her father begins to add more responsibilities to her day, grooming her to become the leader of Laconia, just in case one day he no longer around to rule it. On what little free time Teresa has, she will escape the Consulate Governmental Building and go on a walk with her dog. On one walk, Teresa meets a man named Timothy(Amos) who befriended her and is surviving by himself. Amos plans to nuke the Consulate but meeting Teresa "Tiny" complicates his plans. Later, when the time skip event occurs, following the weapons test, Duarte is sent into a coma like state where he is no longer cognizant of the real world, swiping at the air sometimes. After this Teresa heads up to Timothy's cave, she inadvertently leads security forces to the cave and a firefight breaks out where Timothy is killed. After Teresa is taken back to Consulate, Timothy's body is taken away by the native Laconian repair drones.
Elvi during this time has been given increasing responsibilities to help Duarte recover, looking over his work. Holden who has been in contact with Cortazar, Duarte and a little bit with Teresa has been playing a long term chess game, in order to drive a wedge between Cortazar and Duarte. Holden's plan comes to head when he tells Teresa to watch his conversations with Cortazar. Holden has been suggesting using as Teresa a subject to study to help Duarte get better. When Cortazar's slightly mentions this on camera, Teresa becomes aware of the fact the Cortazar wants to kill her. She lets Elvi know of Cortazar's intentions and she lets Trejo know. Teresa also goes to her father and tells him about Cortazar, Durate seems to be unaffected by the news, still swiping at the air. Later in the meeting in Durate's room Elvi, Cortazar and Trejo discuss the future of the Empire. Duarte at one point gets up and mumbles to himself near Cortazar, the next second without a gunshot, Duarte causes Cortazar's head to explode, killing him.
Naomi's plan finally comes to head, in the Siege of Laconia. Over 400 rebel ships arrive to resist Laconia, including three Donnager Class battleships. Unlike the invasion of Sol, the Laconian Magnetar-class ship Voice of the Whirlwind does not use its primary weapon for fear of triggering another round of unconsciousness. Naomi's plan to disable Laconia begins with baiting the Whirlwind and retreating away. When the Whirlwind gets far enough away from Laconia, a few ships of Naomi's fleet dive for the alien orbital construction yards. When the ships are close enough they fire rail guns into the orbital construction yards destroying them, all this while dodging rail guns from planetary defense systems. This accomplishes the goal of taking away Laconia's advantage of creating new alien ships and producing antimatter.
During the engagement, the Rocinante receives Amos's codes for evacuation. The codes were sent from Teresa who has rescued Holden. When the two make an escape they are confronted by Teresa's handler and security threatening to kill them. Out of nowhere, a "repaired" Amos kills the three Laconians, getting permission from "Tiny" for the last one. Soon after, the group is evacuated by the Rocinante, not knowing who the new passenger with a dog was. When leaving Laconia, the Rocinante is threatened by the Whirlwind, who hesitates when Teresa gets on the comms and declares she is working on a mission with the rebels straight from her father. The Whirlwind sends ten missiles at the Rocinante which it destroys with PDCs.
On Laconia, it is revealed that Holden's goal in his metaphorical chess game as a captive was to get Cortazar removed and for Elvi to take over the science directorate. Confident in her position, Elvi's first moves is to shut down Cortazar's Pens and release the two Laconian children who were repaired by the Laconian Repair Drones. She declares to Trejo that the greatest potential of information is exploring the large 'Rosetta Stone' Protomolecule diamond.
- Holden (prologue, epilogue)
- Elvi (13 chapters)
- Naomi (14 chapters)
- Alex (7 chapters)
- Teresa (11 chapters)
- Bobbie (5 chapters)
- The Dancing Bear (interlude)
The book was released as a hardcover on March 26, 2019.
The book was first released as a trade paperback in Europe. A paperback edition will be released in the United States on January 21, 2020.
- Hungarian: Tiamat Dühe (2019)
- Italian: L'ira di Tiamat (2019)
- German: Tiamats Zorn (2020)
- The title refers to Tiamat, a primordial goddess associated with creating the cosmos from chaos in ancient Babylonian mythology. The entity has been described as a serpent or dragon. According to the myth recorded on ancient cuneiform tablets, the deity Enki captured and killed Tiamat's partner, Abzû. As a display of her wrath, Tiamat created eleven monsters of her own offspring to wage war against the deities and avenge her mate's death.
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