Good things come in small packages?
I love it when a story can pack a major punch in a short amount of time. I don’t think there’s anything inherently bad about novellas. But novellas between books in a series are a bit of a trickier story.
These kinds of books usually fall into one of two camps. 1. completely optional: they just serve to provide interesting back story or a fun side-quest type adventure for your existing characters. 2. Necessary to fully understand the context your series is happening in.
I think either of those options can be done well, but it can be hard to achieve. I talk about this after having read Auberon earlier this month. It takes places in the latter half of The Expanse series. Some of the novellas in this series have served critical roles in hinting at what’s to come. This one… did not do that. While the writing is great as ever, I’m failing to see the ‘point.’ We see a minor (like seriously minor) side character in here, but besides that, the plot seems inconsequential outside of “humanizing” the “enemies” in the system.
Now I might be wrong. Come the last full book in the series, I could see this short book as being completely necessary and a must-read for its foreshadowing. But until then, I’ll just hope for a more compelling story later.
How do you feel about novellas?