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Caliban's War (The Expanse) Paperback – June 26, 2012
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"Caliban's War is even better than Leviathan Wakes. It's old-fashioned space opera, the kind of SF that I cut my teeth on, a real page-turner set in a vividly imagined solar system... superlatively written."―George R.R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
"A worthy sequel to Leviathan's Wake. Compelling characters and a plot that combines political intrigue with military sf create a memorable story that begs for film adaptation."―Library Journal
"Tense and thrilling"―SciFi Now
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Ganymede has been in crisis since Marines from Earth and Mars started shooting at each other. But how did the hostility begin? Only Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper knows the truth: they weren't shooting at each other, but at the monster that was killing them. Since the "monster" could be the protomolecule last seen on Venus in Leviathan Wakes, the Outer Planets Alliance sends James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante to investigate.
Meanwhile, Prax Meng is upset because his daughter Mei was apparently kidnapped during the fighting. Mei has a genetic disorder that puts her at risk of death if she doesn't receive regular treatment. Is there a connection between the snatch and the coincidental timing of the monster's attack? It's up to Holden and his crew to find out.
A third storyline involves Chrisjen Avasarala, an elderly, foul-mouthed UN official whose job is to keep the peace between Earth and Mars, a none-too-easy task. Her story eventually merges with Draper's and becomes one of political intrigue.
I wouldn't recommend reading Caliban's War without first reading Leviathan Wakes. Caliban's War assumes a familiarity with the events that took place in the first novel.Read more ›
The precipitating event in Caliban's War is the appearance of a protomolecule "monster" on Ganymede that slaughters all but one of a contingent of marines. The sole survivor, Bobbie, becomes another POV. She eventually ends up working for Avasarala, a UN diplomat trying to hold off war and figure out what happened on Ganymede and who was responsible; she becomes our third POV. Our last POV is Prax, a Ganymede botanist whose sick daughter was kidnapped, a crime seemingly related somehow to the prototmolecule. Prax ends up with Holden and his crew then eventually all four POV characters end up together as their storylines dovetail.''
The characters that return from Leviathan Wakes are nicely deepened in this follow-up (I was an especial fan of Amos in this one), both in their individual constructs and in their relationships with each other. Sometimes, I'll admit, the portrayal may have bordered a bit on the overly-sentimental, but for the most part I enjoyed how the characters were made more complex via back stories, by their changing relationships, or by their realizations about themselves. The new characters vary a bit in effect.Read more ›
It starts with action and never gets boring, but it also doesn't feel the need to keep up a frenetic pace; there's plenty of time given over to developing the characters. It manages the right balance of action to downtime to keep the reader interested without leaving them exhausted.
Only one thing kinda struck me as strange, and that was a bit of relationship drama where I couldn't understand how a certain POV character got into such hot water with his girlfriend. I was flabbergasted at how dire things got between them given what seemed like a minor impetus. (I can't complain too much, though, because the fault may well lie with me. ;))
TL;DR version -- Excellent, well-paced sci-fi with likable characters. If you liked the first book, Leviathan Wakes, I recommend it as even better than that one. If you didn't read that, then I recommend both books if you liked John Scalzi's Old Man's War. And, finally, if you didn't read that either...well, get to work.
The plot is very tight and interesting, and the various POV threads come together elegantly. I admire the subtleties here; too often in space opera there's the Good Guys and the Bad'uns, and while that is true here to an extent, the Good Guys also have factions, some of which head into Bad'uns territory, and many of which are at odds with each other more for political than moral reasons.
The characters are also very well-drawn, better than they were in #1 in my opinion. We get to know Holden's crew more than we had, and their characters developed even more than they had in #1.
The new additions are also compelling. Bobbie is a Martian Marine forced by circumstance to broaden her worldview. Prax also has to grow past what he thought he was capable of, and he does, though not necessarily happily.
And- there is Avasarala, who I completely adore. She is unique in my reading as being: a devoted grandma; a loving wife to a poetry professor; and an Indian woman who insists on wearing saris even to business meetings... and also one of the top powerful politicians for Earth, and ruthless in that job- plus she swears like a sailor. After encountering each other, she and the other Good Guys do bat heads about priorities and values- but they are also capable to listening and working out functional compromises.
I had not realized when I started this series that it's 6 books- I'd thought a trilogy! But I am eager to read #3.
Very recommended for fans of space opera who appreciate some thinkiness therein! I think you could start here, but reading #1 will give you more background.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You know it's a great book when at the end of each and every chapter you exclaim Wow! or OMG! And at the end of the book? Best cliff hanger ever. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great follow up to the first book. Really enjoyed the more tense moments form multiple characters points of view. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Richard K. Liu
Well written,full of surprises, characters that evolve and grow, yet everything seems real. I'll be reading the entire series.Published 6 days ago by Robin Lynn Frank
Nice to have a series to be immersed in for a long time. I will read a much shorter book or two to give myself an intermission, then buy the next book in the series.Published 6 days ago by Ron Ellison
Sometimes in a novel when you go down the well you have to put the lotion on your skin, other times you’re travelling back to Earth. The latter; this one is the latter. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Tyson Adams