This page is about the books character. For the TV incarnation, see Amos Burton (TV).
Amos Burton is a space ship engineer, and the Chief Engineer of the Rocinante.
Amos is a tall, stocky, pale-skinned man with receding red-brown hair. He is a calm person, described as "amiable", but has no qualms about violence.
He was born in the city Baltimore on Earth, a product of unlicensed prostitution. He has been flying for about twenty-five years, and two ships have gone down under him before the events of Leviathan Wakes.
Amos's birth name is Timothy, or "Timmy". He was raised by Lydia, his surrogate mother and lover, who knew his birth mother before she died.
When he was in his teens, he was recruited by his childhood friend Erich into the Baltimore-based crime syndicate of the real Amos Burton, whom he killed. With the help of Erich, he stole Burton's identity and fled Earth for Luna, eventually ending up on the crew of the Canterbury, working for the Pur'n'Kleen Water Company.
When the Cant received a distress signal from the Scopuli on the asteroid CA-2216862, Amos was part of the crew of the Knight consisting of James Holden, Naomi Nagata, Alex Kamal, and Shed Garvey sent to investigate. Amos joined Holden in investigation of the Knight where he and Holden find a transmitter in ops. Upon discovering the transmitter, six torpedoes are fired from a stealth ship at the Cant, and Amos returns to the Knight. The Knight is contacted by Wallace Fritz of the Pur'n'Kleen Water Company who orders them to be picked up by the Donnager, and assist the MCRN in their investigation of the destruction of the Cant. The Knight is then followed by six Belt objects.
When the Knight docks in the Donnager, the crew is escorted to their quarters while Holden is debriefed. The Donnie is then attacked by the six ships that followed the Knight. Upon Holden's return to the crew their room is punctured and Shed Garvey is killed. While the Donnie is attacked and boarded, Holden and his crew are escorted to the hangar bay by Lieutenant Kelly and three marines. After a gunfight in the hanger bay (where Amos breaks his tibia), the crew escapes on the corvette class light frigate, the Tachi.
The crew claims the Tachi as salvage, and Holden renames it the Rocinante--with Amos as the Chief Engineer. Upon their arrival at Tycho Station, Fred Johnson escorts them to their rooms. He explains that an all out war between the Belt and Mars would result in a horrible amount of deaths. However, there is one way to avoid the bloodshed; convincing the public that the destruction of the Canterbury and Donnager was a criminal act instead of an act of war, allowing for a trial incriminating a group that both the OPA and the Martian Congressional Republic can agree on. In the event of a trial, Holden and his crew would be the star witnesses having experienced both ship's destruction first hand, and give Fred and the OPA credibility in the process. Fred leaves, giving them freedom to explore Tycho, and puts all their expenses on his tab. Later, Amos goes to find a hooker, while Holden and Naomi have drinks.
Three days after arriving on Tycho the crew has dinner together. During dinner Holden discusses his boredom. After discussion the crew decides to become private contractors delivering cargo during the war with their stealth ship. After dinner Amos and Alex attempt to play the card tables. Holden later agrees with the crew of the Roci to become private contractors for the OPA with their first job being to pick up Lionel Polanski, a crew member from the Scopuli who had sent a coded distress message indicating she was in hiding on Eros station.
The Rocinante lands on Eros and the crew makes their way to the flophouse where the Scopuli crew member is registered. Amos notices someone following them who appears to be a cop. Upon their arrival they get into a gunfight and are helped by Miller, who had been following the crew. With the help of Miller's old friend Sematimba, the crew avoids going to jail. Together, they find the mutated body of Julie Mao, who had written down the location of the the asteroid where the ship that attacked the Scopuli was. While the crew discusses their next move with Miller, they receive a message from Fred saying that a mole was found on Tycho leaking their location. Meanwhile, a nuclear explosion on Eros put the station in lock-down. The new security force, who had taken over Eros from Protogen not long before, Carne Por la Machina (CPM), started ushering the population to radiation shelters. Miller recognized one of the security officers as a former criminal on Ceres, and deduced that they were carrying the riot gear that had been stolen from Star Helix.
While Holden and Miller investigate, Amos and the rest of the crew hide in a maintenance hatch. Before Holden left he ordered Naomi to leave if he and Miller are not back in three hours to make their way back to the ship and leave. When Holden and Miller do not return in time Naomi has the crew return to the Roci. Upon arriving at the Rocinante, they wait just a little while longer, and a severely injured Holden and Miller arrive. The group leaves Eros and travel to the location of the asteroid Julie had written down.
Arriving at asteroid BA834024112, the crew of the Roci found the Anubis, the Protogen ship that had boarded the Scopuli. Aboard the ship they found the bodies of the crew in a late stage of protomolecule-infection, a video of Antony Dresden explaining Protogen's plans, and communication logs. Amos is able to return some power to the ship but not without being hit by a small amount of unexpected radiation. Once everything is gathered, Amos destroys the ship on Holden's orders.
After heading back to Tycho and learning the coordinates of Thoth Station, the Rocinante and Guy Molinari head to assault the station. During the battle at Thoth station, Amos made continuous repairs to the Roci to keep it flying and attacking. The Rocinante was able to take out the comm array and the two ships defending the station. Fred and the crew of the Rocinate arrive at ops, where Miller and the rest of the OPA have secured it and captured Dresden, and Dresden begins to explain the Protomolecule and Protogen's involvement. Miller eventually hears enough of Dresden and shoots him in the head, shocking the rest of the group. Holden begins yelling at Miller, telling him to find his own way home.
Once back on Tycho, Naomi and Amos are greeted by Miller in a bar. The two are visibly uncomfortable by Miller, with Naomi lying to leave. Amos stays and tell Miller the reason for the coldness. Although that Amos isn't much different than him, Miller has a habit of killing people without talking it over first.
On their way to Eros, Holden and Naomi break the news of their relationship over breakfast to Alex and Amos, who respond with amusement and happiness for their crew mates.
Once Eros dodged the Nauvoo, the crew of the Roci begin to panic. Holden opens up a channel to the Ravi asking if they would like to follow Eros, as it has now somehow become invisible to radar. Holden then opens a channel with Fred. They concluded that Eros is heading towards Earth and decide to detonate the bombs on the station in hopes of slowing down the ship. Amos designs a dead man's switch for Miller as he descends into the station with his bombs to shut off whatever is coordinating it. While waiting on Miller to contact Julie, the Ravi begins threatening the Roci. However before any damage can be done Eros stops jamming radar sensors and heads toward Venus.
On the Rocinante's way back to Tycho, the crew watched Eros's decent on Venus, wondering what will happen next.
In the eighteen months since the Eros incident Amos and the crew of the Rocinante; Captain James Holden, Executive Officer Naomi Nagata, and Pilot Alex Kamal have been working as pirate hunters for the OPA.
Holden, Naomi, and Amos are sent under the guise of the crew of the Weeping Somnambulist to investigate while Alex kept the Roci hidden in case they needed to escape, or were captured. Upon their arrival, much to their surprise due to the ship being a regular, they were boarded and inspected by UN Navy, but we're able to hold their cover. To make matters worse, once the ship landed they were greeted by the customs official who attempted to con part of their supplies to sell on the black market. Holden and Amos were able to scare him ans his to guards off leaving him unsuccessful.
Later, during a food riot that Holden is unable to calmly settle, Naomi calls Amos, bluffing, telling him to have their OPA gunship shoot down a food freighter if it leaves the station. After the food riot, Praxidike Meng asks for the crew's help in finding his daughter. While Amos does recon and gathers supplies, Holden forces Prax to eat a meal and take a shower. Amos returns with a can of "chicken food products" which Holden hopes the hacker that Prax hired will take as a token of payment. Holden, Amos, and Prax make their way to the hacker while Naomi monitors them from the ship. They arrive at the hackers home for the exchange, but the hacker believes they have more chicken and raises the price. Instead, Amos begins to beat the hacker, eventually being called off by Holden when the hacker agrees to help them. The hacker shows them the footage of Mei Meng being taken by her doctor, Strickland and another woman who Prax doesn't recognize but the school's security registered as Mei's mother. The footage follows them up to an old utility storage are before the station was finished that the security feeds do not follow. With their information they pay the hacker and head back to the ship, and with Naomi discuss a plan: Naomi will will monitor them and take care of any electronic threats, Prax will be there for Mei to recognize and to give any details on her illness that affects the rescue, leaving Holden and Amos to the violence.As the three of them head through to tunnels to find Mei, they are ambushed by a group of former Pinkwater Security led by a man named Wendell. Holden is able to talk them down and convince them to assist them in their rescue of Mei in exchange for getting them of Ganymede. The group arrives at the doorway where they lost track of Mei and begin clearing the tunnels. During their search they come across the dead body of Katoa Merton. Filled with anger, Prax opens the next door to find a group of security guards taking a break. Prax, hysterical, inadvertently starts a gunfight. The group presses on and finds more security guards and a secret science lab with the black tendrils of the Protomolecule. Holden then calls Naomi telling her they have to leave immediately. Just before making it back to the port they are ambushed and subdued by a group of Earthers in gray armor with no insignia. At the end of his visit to Baltimore where he attends to affairs of his foster mom Lydia, Amos requests information from Chrisjen Avasarala to locate Clarissa Mao at the Pit, a high-security UN facility in North Carolina. He calls Avasarala "Chrissie" which she scolds him for but seems to enjoy.
Amos and Clarissa commandeered a ship named Zhang Guo to escape from the ruins of Earth. As they approach Luna, Amos contacts Avasarala for clearance to dock. After doing so, he convinces Avasarala to instruct the inspectors to bypass the ship with clear implication that Clarissa would be aboard and that'd create an incident. This allows Amos to sneak Clarissa aboard the Rocinante.