Caliban’s War (The Expanse Book 2) Reviews

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Caliban’s War (The Expanse Book 2)

Caliban's War (The Expanse Book 2)

The second novel in James S. A. Corey’s SF New York Times bestselling Expanse series. Now a major television series!

We are not alone.

On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .

Caliban’s War is a breakneck science fiction adventure following the critically acclaimed Leviathan Wakes.

The Expanse
Leviathan Wakes
Caliban’s War
Abaddon’s Gate
Cibola Burn
Nemesis Games
Babylon’s Ashes

The Expanse Short Fiction
The Butcher of Anderson Station
Gods of Risk
The Churn
The Vital Abyss

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3 thoughts on “Caliban’s War (The Expanse Book 2) Reviews

  1. 11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Thoughtful and exciting space opera, with great characters, March 23, 2016
    By 
    Cissa (MA USA) –

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    While I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, I think this, the second one, is even better!

    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.

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  2. 8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Somehow The Series Keeps Getting Better, April 5, 2016
    By 
    Nikolas P. Robinson (Rapid City, SD USA) –

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    Since Amazon is inexplicably tethering Caliban’s War and Abaddon’s Gate together where reviews are concerned as if they are different formats of the same book, I am just going to post the two of them together here.

    Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey (really Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) picks up not altogether too long after the final, captivating events of Leviathan Wakes and it smoothly carries on with the story of the relatively near-future narrative that is The Expanse.
    The absence of Miller from the story is made up for in large part by a Holden who has become more like the detective than he would have thought possible judging by how harshly he had criticised Miller’s methodology and personality during the first novel. This internally conflicted characteristic makes Holden a more interesting and substantial protagonist than he was in the first book though it does produce some difficulties on board the Rocinante.
    Fans of the television show would be gratified to see Chrisjen Avasarala finally making her appearance in the literary version of The Expanse. Though she is more vulgar in the book than in SyFy’s adaptation, the core of the character is there…a ruthless and often cold political force to be reckoned with who manages to compartmentalize her personal and professional lives with impressive skill.
    The new characters added into the narrative are well-developed and easily as interesting as those from the first novel, which is something I hope they can keep up through the additional books in this series (including the ones as yet unwritten).
    It says something about the intense and dangerous nature of the events unfolding in this book that an alien biological machine terraforming Venus according to entirely unknown programming takes a backseat in the minds of the characters and that same dismissal carries over to the reader…at least until the end, when it can no longer be ignored.
    I am very much looking forward to reading the next installment after the way this one ends and I am even more so looking forward to seeing how the television adaptation will tackle things as the events of this book make it onto the screen during either the latter portion of season two or the beginning of season three depending on how they put everything together.

    Abaddon’s Gate takes The Expanse series through the first tentative steps toward becoming a full-fledged, interstellar space opera. From this point on in the series, humanity will no longer be confined to the solar system we’re all too familiar with and the surrounding void between our local system and other stars.
    This is, surprisingly, the first time religion really gets brought into the books…and there is quite a bit of it, as well there should be. This is a series of novels that is largely predicated on first contact, and that would damn well shake up religious thought all over the world. Not only are we dealing with first contact, but first contact with an unknown species that was around billions of years before we came down from the trees and who have the ability to manipulate matter and energy in ways we have only ever imagined possible. We stumbled upon something truly alien to us, waiting out at the edges of our solar system and disastrously attempted to weaponize it because, of course we would…we’re notoriously short-sighted and impulsive when it comes to thinking up ways to kill one another in real life and the odds of that changing over the hundreds of years separating us from the fictional future of The Expanse are pretty slim…and if none of this had an impact on us as far as theology is concerned, these books would require far too much suspension of disbelief.
    By the time Abaddon’s Gate starts off, there is a giant ring structure (assembled on Venus by an alien intelligence before lifting from that planet’s surface) between the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, looming there and just waiting for us to cross the threshold…and it stands to reason that Holden would be one of the first to cross over into somewhere truly awe inspiring in what it represents.
    Along with the novelty of having a religious perspective tossed into the mix we get a whole new cast of characters to populate the narrative since Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are the only major ones carried over from the previous novels into this one…and none of them feel like throwaway bit parts, which is something the authors have excelled at so far through the series.
    This third volume of the series answers a number of questions that have been collecting since the first novel, but it certainly adds just as many new ones that will hopefully be just as exciting to answer in reading what follows.

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  3. 9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Good Characters in a Big Story, June 3, 2014
    By 
    Doctor Moss (California) –

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    One of the hard things to get right in space opera, I think, is developing the lives and personalities of the main characters while tying them to the huge storylines that make space opera space opera.

    Corey developed two main characters in the first volume of The Expanse series and told the story primarily from their points of view — Holden, the XO of a ship at the center of the story, and Miller, a detective. Here he takes on some new characters and new points of view, notably, Avasarala, a sly, fluently cursing diplomat with the future equivalent of the United Nations, and Bobbie, a Mars-born soldier who comes to work for Avasarala. The technique of telling the story from leading characters’ points of view works here as well as it did in the first volume of the series. It allows us to see the story neither from a single point of view, nor from a third person point of view, but from multiple, intersecting perspectives.

    And the story itself continues to grow large. Much of the mystery about the alien “protomolecule” is still a mystery here, but that bigger plot is moving along. And it’s got me hooked. In fact, I sped through this volume much more quickly than the first, although it is slightly longer. The story is compelling, and the scale is just what you want out of space opera.

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