Review: Caliban’s War (Expanse 2)

Caliban's War CoverMy review @ Goodreads

Caliban’s War (Expanse 2) – by James S.A. Corey

Genre: Hard Science Fiction

For unknown reasons I kept putting off reading this book for … years. Even though I liked Leviathan Wakes. Recently, I’ve tried to read many different books and committing to an unfinished 9 book series was probably what kept me from it. Then we watched Season 1 of The Expanse and I was amazed by the casting and when Season 2 came out I finally read this book. That I am halfway through Abbadon‘s Gate should suffice to show how much I enjoyed this one.

For those who are wanting to combine reading and watching: characters from this book are introduced at the start of season 2 but the plot of this book begins halfway through the season. Season 2 so far has also introduced characters from later books (I checked – searching via kindle can be helpful)

So the title was a bit confusing to me because Caliban is never once mentioned in the book „Caliban‘s War“ – it is helpful to look up who Caliban is. He‘s a character from The Tempest. A malformed, mottled man, half-human, half-devil.

The book starts out with a disconnect from the previous one. Some time has passed since the protomolecule and Eros crashed into Venus. Mars and Earth are gathered in a stand-off around Ganymede because of it‘s importance in growing food for the belt. We‘re introduced to a new character Bobby, a Martian marine who becomes an integral part of this books plot right from the start.

In the meantime Holden and crew have been working for Fred as privateers… with Holden apparently turning into an Ersatz-Miller.

On Earth, Avasarala gets a lot of screen time and since I like her so much, I was suffering quite a bit when all the intrigues surrounding her came to light.

And of course the protomolecule makes more appearances.

Again I loved the way that humanity-in-space is depicted in these novels. From the Epstein Drive, to the design of spaceships, to the extensive explanation on the „cascade“ of failures that later bring down a whole space station because artificial ecological systems just aren‘t complex enough …

If you like hard SF and always wanted to fly out to Jupiter just to see what the view would be like, this series continues to deliver great views, great characters and just enough science to keep everything believable without driving me to start skipping the explanations. (Disclaimer: I am not a scientist, all I know about physics is what Sheldon Cooper and r/askscience told me)

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories