Caliban’s War (2012) – James S.A. Corey


Book 2 of The Expanse series was just as captivating as the first book in the series, Leviathan Wakes. The authors, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, working under the name of James S.A. Corey, brought me right back into the worlds they created, introduced me to some new characters, and ratcheted up the stakes for our heroes, the crew of the Rocinante.

Picking up about a year after the events of the first book, eyes are on the shrouded planet of Venus, awaiting to see what the protomolecule, launched billions of years ago by an unknown race towards Earth, will do.

Some folks aren’t willing to wait however, and on the Jovian moon of Ganymede, something, a protomolecule-enhanced being, a monster, is unleashed, something that slaughters UN Marines, and then makes quick work of their opposite numbers in the Martian Marines, with just one gunnery sergeant, Bobbie Draper, escaping.

The solar system seems on the brink of war, as news of the monster is kept secret by those involved at the highest levels, but Holden and his crew, Naomi, Alex and Amos, find themselves caught up in things, as they help a botanist, Praxidike Meng, search for his daughter, Mei, who may be at the heart of the entire chain of events.

Alongside Bobbie, and Meng we are introduced to Chrisjen Avasarala, an undersecretary of the UN, who is intent on stopping all-out war before it happens, and sees the possibility of using Bobbie and Holden to help her in that regard.


The authors have crafted an all out epic with this second installment, and I barreled through it, loving every minute of it, taking solace that there are now, two more books in the series to read, book four, Cibola Burn was released this month, and I am looking forward to getting my hands on it. Apparently, the current plan is that the series, as of now, will be nine books long, with a new book due out every June…. I’m good with that!

I love the fact that these characters continue to change and grow, and even when the universe is expanded around them, the story doesn’t lose the focus, and the drive, that has been there from the beginning of the first book. Sure we may meet new folks along the way, but Holden and company are central to everything, and while things don’t often go smoothly for them, they are still where I would choose to be when things go down.

The sequences in this book are incredible, and I’ve gotten to the point where I can see it all in my head, and it looks amazing, the proposed television series will have a lot to live up too!

And happily, I have the next book in the series ready to go, because… wow, that ending!!! I was reading it on my break, so I was all alone, which may have been a good thing, because I’m sure I exclaimed something out loud when I got to the last page!

These first two books have been amazing, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Have you read them?





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