Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Caliban's War

I grew up reading science fiction.  Dune, Ender's Game, Jurassic Park... all sorts of sub-genres and authors.  I loved being transported to places that might be possible in humanity's future.  In high school my tastes changed and I became primarily a fantasy reader.  Mostly because I love history, and fantasy opened me to worlds in the past.  I've been getting back into sci fi, however, and I've read a lot of great authors in the genre this year--Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, Dave Wolverton, and John Scalzi. I found that I still love epic science fiction.  There is a lot of great stuff out there, but someone (or someones) always rises to the top and defines my taste of a specific genre.  For space opera--for all science fiction and its sub genres--this is the Daniel Abraham/Ty Franck team of James S.A. Corey.

Caliban's War is book two of The Expanse.  I had to wait to get into it because the audio version didn't release with the paperback a couple months ago (I'm too lazy to read).  I had a fun time with Leviathan (my review) but Caliban is where the story came into its own.  I can't wait to see what Abraham and Franck have in store for book three.

At the end of Leviathan the Universe as humanity knows it has changed.  An alien protomolecule is transforming Venus into Earth's greatest horror.  A tense truce exists between Earth, Mars, and the Belt, but the slightest provocation can set off the biggest war known to man.  And someone is kidnapping children on Ganymede.

James Holden returns as a point-of-view character, and three new-comers join him to continue this kick-ass story.  (Chrisjen Avasarala--a foul-mouthed grandma--is my favorite.)

There was a bit of a plot repeat from the first book that bothered me a little.  One of the characters in Leviathan is defined by his efforts to find a missing woman.  In Caliban one of the pov's spends the book looking for his daughter.  A small gripe, but I can't help that I felt like part of the book was retreading old ground.  Luckily, the two cases are quite different, and each takes the story and characters in different directions.  This for me was a small bump in an otherwise smooth ride.    

The last line of Caliban gave me chills.  Come to find out, Franck--who wrote it--said about the line, "...I think it's the coolest thing I ever did."  He obviously knew what a punch he was giving us, and how it would leave readers dying to get the next installment.  Trust me, it's awesome.  You'll have to read Leviathan first, though, to understand.

Caliban's War gets 5 out of 5 stars.  If you're any kind of sci fi fan, I highly recommend diving into this series.  We'll know in a couple of days if Leviathan took home this year's Hugo.  My fingers are crossed that it does.                    


  1. Thanks for this, Jordan! I don't read too much sci fi, but I should. I've enjoyed the sci fi books I've read. Thanks for this recommendation and great review---and thanks also for your kind comment on my blog... I think you're spot on. I agree with you completely. ;)

    1. Thank you, Morgan. It was a great post you did.

  2. Sounds like an interesting book; next time I'm in a sci-fi mood I should check it out!

  3. Dude! I can't tel you how much I'm loving Leviathan Wakes. I'm about two hours from the end of the audiobook and it's totally sucked me in. REALLY looking forward to Caliban's War!