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The Expanse series has novels with titles based on several religious or mythical images.
What are the origins of the titles and what elements of the story do they refer to?

  1. Leviathan Wakes
  2. Caliban's War
  3. Abaddon's Gate
  4. Cibola Burn
  5. Nemesis Games
  6. Babylon's Ashes
  7. Persepolis Rising
  8. Tiamat's Wrath
  • 1
    Not sure what you're asking. The literary (or historical) reference for all of the proper nouns is pretty clear. Are you asking how a mythical sea monster awakening relates to the plot? (of that book, or the series arc as a whole) If the latter, you'll probably need a single question per title. – DavidW Aug 1 at 12:27
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    I've attempted to make the question more explicit and answerable, apologies if this isn't what you intended. However this is something I've been curious about myself. – Binary Worrier Aug 1 at 12:31
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1. Leviathan Wakes

The Leviathan is a sea monster in Judaism, most well known from its appearance in the Book of Job.

The title refers to the waking of the long-dormant protomolecule from Phoebe, moon of Saturn.

2. Caliban's War

Caliban is a half human, half monster character from Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

The title refers to the project which created hybrid human-protomolecule soldiers and the war fought with and over them.

3. Abaddon's Gate

Abaddon is a Hebrew name for the abyss or pit of destruction, as well as an angel personifying the same.

The title refers, I think, to the characters passing through the protomolecule's gate and the rapid forced braking they experience and the destruction that follows.

4. Cibola Burn

The Zuni-Cibola Complex is an archeological site in New Mexico. It was believed by the Spanish to be one of the Seven Cities of Gold.

The title refers to Ilus, a planet settled by both Belter refugees and a mining company from Earth, who both wanted to mine the planet for its valuable lithium. It may also refer to the ancient buildings they find on the planet.

5. Nemesis Games

Nemesis is a Greek goddess who enacts retribution against the arrogant.

The title refers to Marco Inaros and his Belter "Free Navy" who attack the Earth.

6. Babylon's Ashes

Babylon was the capital city of the Babylonian Empire. In Jewish and Christian symbolism it stood for the corrupt world, evil, and eventually the Roman Empire.

The title probably refers to the continuing recovery efforts of Earth after Marco's attack, although most book readers would be more likely to sympathise with the Earth's survivors. The title may also be a clue of the Laconian Empire's overtaking of Earth in the next book.

7. Persepolis Rising

Persepolis was the capital of the Persian Empire.

The title refers to the reemergence of the hidden Laconian Empire which, just as the Persian Empire had conquered the Babylonian Empire, then conquered the "Babylon" of Earth, Mars, and all the other inhabited systems.

8. Tiamat's Wrath

Tiamat is the Babylonian goddess of the sea and chaos.

The title refers the unknown alien race which had previously defeated the protomolecule's "Ring Builders" race and is now attacking Humanity (or arguably defending itself), by a variety of means including scrambling the physical parts of humans, causing system-wide consciousness breaks, and destroying everything in the Slow Zone.

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    Let me know if you think any of my interpretations are off, or if there are better alternatives. – curiousdannii Aug 1 at 12:50
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    On "The Leviathan Wakes" I thought it more the "awakening" of Eros (in the sense of a giant creature moving), but it works for the protomolicule too. – Binary Worrier Aug 1 at 14:47
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    @BinaryWorrier I think it's more likely to be the protomolecule. In the early books it's seen as a terrifying alien menace, and only later comes to be seen as a useful tool. And the body horror scenes on Eros were more impactful than the weirdness of Eros beginning to move. But I can't rule out your interpretation :). – curiousdannii Aug 1 at 14:51
  • I'll buy that :) – Binary Worrier Aug 1 at 14:51
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    @Sekhemty These are my theories. – curiousdannii Oct 20 at 22:01

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