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Caliban's War (The Expanse #2)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  41,619 Ratings  ·  2,724 Reviews
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
Paperback, 595 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Orbit (Hachette)
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Brian Williams You definitely need to read Leviathan Wakes first. It's a good read, and an easy one, but there is a lot of major plot points that spill out of the…moreYou definitely need to read Leviathan Wakes first. It's a good read, and an easy one, but there is a lot of major plot points that spill out of the first one that you'd be completely lost on without starting from the beginning.(less)
Glee Caliban is a character from The Tempest.

He is described as subhuman, part human, etc.

The title plays with that -…more
Caliban is a character from The Tempest.

He is described as subhuman, part human, etc.

The title plays with that - a war because of Caliban's existence, I'd say.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 31, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
Things go very wrong on the colony on Ganymede.

”It grabbed an UN Marine in its huge hands and tore him in half like paper. Titanium-and-ceramic armor ripped as easily as the flesh inside, spilling broken bits of technology and wet human viscera indiscriminately onto the ice. The remaining five soldiers ran even harder, but the monster chasing them barely slowed as it killed.

‘Shoot it shoot it shoot it,’ Bobbie yelled, and opened fire.

The creature was a relatively slow-moving human-sized target,
Jun 25, 2013 Alejandro rated it liked it
OK, I liked this book but...


I think that at its core, this second book is was too much similar to the first one.

I mean, there is a search for a girl (different age but the same basic idea), a mystery about a threat, and the tensions between the policital powers.

The only difference is that while the first book, Leviathan Wakes can be read a stand-alone book if you wish, maybe since the authors weren't sure to get the chance of... expanding it (pun intended)... for
Jun 27, 2015 Kemper rated it really liked it
Essentially this is a mix of Game of Thrones and Firefly without all the rape and child burning and people talking like they’re in a western movie.

Humanity has expanded throughout our solar system, colonizing Mars and various moons and asteroids. Since people are always gonna be people, and will therefore suck, political tensions are high between Earth, Mars, and the Belters, and the events of the first book in the series have the threat of war seeming higher than ever. And just like in Westeros
Aug 03, 2013 Carol. rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who have series OCD and read Leviathan Wakes
Shelves: sci-fi, awards, yawn
Leviathan Wakes was one of my great reads this year (review: ). It broke into my reading blahs and set off a trend of great reads. After finishing, I promptly placed a library request for Caliban’s War, out of general interest and just the tiniest bit of series OCD. When it arrived, I was in the middle of monthly reads for my book club, then all hell broke open over at Goodreads, resulting in a loss of reading mojo, quickly followed by reviewing mojo. Bri ...more
Feb 20, 2016 Sanaa rated it it was amazing
[5 Stars] That ending. Someone hold me. I wasn't ready for that.
Lindsey Rey
Dec 22, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it it was amazing
OMG!!!!!! WTF WTF WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Feb 14, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
When I read the first book of The Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes I was not that impressed with it. It was, however, an instant hit with the majority of the sci-fi readership. My main problem was that I did not really care for the main characters. Consequently, I decided not to continue with the series. Then a few months ago Syfy started broadcasting The Expanse Season 1 their adaptation of Leviathan Wakes to practically universal acclaim. I wondered if I may have somehow misjudged the book s ...more
Way back in 2012 I listened to the audiobook of Leviathan Wakes, and loved it. It was awesome. And then I picked up a nasty case of "Series Blah" which left me in this emotional hinterland between wanting to continue the series because I really loved the first book, and dreading to read it because either it wouldn't live up to my expectations, or it would be so awesome that I would need more and there was no more to be had, at the time.

Now I have read it... and I was kinda right on all counts.
Jul 16, 2012 Algernon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
It's a pretty safe bet that those who liked the first Expanse book, will enjoy Caliban's War , too. I would add that new readers should start the journey with Leviathan Wakes , and not here, as this is not one of those loosely connected, self-contained, ongoing francizes like The Dresden Files or Vorkosigan Saga. The story picks up a few months after the cataclysmic events described in the debut novel, and will spoil said events for the less cautious reader. My review also may contain spoilers ...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads

Jun 16, 2012 Christian rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
We readers can be a cruel, vicious pack of jackals, sniffing out a novel's flaws with a singular, Darwinian determination - honing in ruthlessly on the padded protagonist; the fictional filler; the cornflour of creativity. We hate that juddering lurch where a clanging InfoDump forces your eye to reflexively skip a bunch of paragraphs, or when the Enter Stage Left of a Prêt à Cliché stock character snaps you out of the fragile, euphoric equilibrium of the Lost Reader's Trance and back to the tedi ...more
Mr. Matt
Jun 17, 2015 Mr. Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2015, aliens
A young girl on a Ganymede space station is kidnapped. Shortly thereafter the fragile peace between Mars and Earth is broken when a mutated human attacks and single-handily destroys not one but two squads of Space Marines. Distrust between the two powers runs high and it is not long before that erupts into a shooting war. Both suspect the other of nefariously plotting to turn a secret supply of the protomolecule into a weapon of mass destruction. Meanwhile, back on Venus, the protomolecule is bu ...more
Kevin Hearne
Sep 16, 2012 Kevin Hearne rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

An enjoyable follow-up to Leviathan Wakes, this is worth it for Avasarala alone, whose habits and language made me laugh out loud. By the third chapter of hers I was grinning in anticipation.

Of course, there's much more to it than Avasarala. Cap'n Holden is back and we get introduced to Gunny Bobbie Draper. Love this series and I'm about to go download the novella.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Nov 08, 2016 Rachel (TheShadesofOrange) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
4.5 Stars

I often struggle with sequels, because, in my personal experience, they rarely live up to the perfection of first novels. Therefore, I'm happy to pronounce that Caliban's War was a solid sequel to Leviathan Wakes. I would even go so far as to suggest that it might even be a better novel than the first in some ways.

This novel provides a lot of character development to the cast of misfits introduced in the first book, along with introducing a several new characters. I particularly appreci
Oct 08, 2016 Carlos rated it it was amazing
Books like this get me excited, they are a fast read, exciting and very interesting, the characters are believable and deep. This is Science fiction at its best .
Second instalment of The Expanse.

“Well, you’ve got a full load of torpedoes and bullets, three Martian warships trailing you, one angry old lady in tea withdrawal, and a Martian Marine who could probably kill you with your own teeth. What do you do?”

Always a bit worried with second volumes but Caliban's War is another amazing adventure, very cinematographic, which explains why the series is being filmed for TV. The plot carries on from the events of Leviathan Wakes and once again Holden is one
Timothy Ward
Aug 06, 2013 Timothy Ward rated it really liked it
Reviewed at Adventures in SciFi Publishing

Caliban’s War, the second book in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse series, is at times the best Space Opera I’ve read, and in others hard to keep reading. It took me ten months to finish. Part of that could be that the ending was partially spoiled, another because it is a big book to lug around. There is an element to the story telling that contributed to the ten month span, but it’s hard to put my finger on.

George R.R. Martin calls this Space Opera the wa
Jul 15, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy hell - this is great science fiction. I gave the first book in the series four stars, but I'm going to change it to five, if that's possible. This is not only some of the most action-packed sci fi I've ever read, but it's also got some of the best characters I've ever read in sci fi. The remaining crew of the Rocinante is back again, along with some new characters, of course. One standout character that's new in the second book is a female politician who is as smart and believable a charact ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

Spaceballs, was this good or what! I had some slight trepidation going into this for a couple of reasons; I’d just finished a 5 star book which usually means the next book I read gets a lower score as it can’t keep up with the previous story; I wasn’t blown away away by the first book like some reviews led me to believe I would be and their reviews of the follow up weren’t as positive; My favourite character from the previous story wasn’t going to be around and the one who was didn’t exactly
Jessica Halleck
Apr 19, 2016 Jessica Halleck rated it really liked it
I like you, James S.A. Corey, so I'm not going to pull my punches: this book was not as good as Leviathan Wakes.

Don't get me wrong, because I enjoyed it--and you're damn right I'm reading this series through to the end--but where Leviathan Wakes was a mix of great to very good, Caliban's War was a mix of very good to just okay.

It starts out strong. In fact, the initial setup of the new POV characters was often excellent. Bobbie's and Pax's establishing shots, their journeys through trauma and f
Dec 08, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it
I ended up really liking this book, more so than book #1 in the series, and I am happy to say I will be continuing with this series as time goes on. I initially picked this up as a buddy read, and I think it's a story which really does work for discussion because of what happens with the plotline.

This story starts up not long after the ending of Book #1 with the 'protomolecule' as a major focus for most of the Universe because of the ever evolving problems it poses. We follow Holden, a character
The Expanse series is rapidly becoming one of my favorite stories, and it's only partly due to the scope. Look: If I'm going to read a space-opera, I want huge, Huge, HUGE scope, right? Well it's my own preferences here, so the answer is a definite YES! I know a little astronomy and scale and putting all of that in perspective with what the hell just happened at the end of this novel is right likely to blow my mind, if it hadn't already been blown when I read Stephen Baxter's The Ring. That's no ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Robyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Five stars because this was just a thrill-a-minute book. Wonderful additions to the cast of characters and a deepening of the political situation from Leviathan Wakes. AND THE ENDING! (It is hard to not immediately pick up the next book. So hard.)
Sep 14, 2015 Justine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Solid second entry in the series. That ending left me wanting to get to the next book as soon as possible!
Executive Summary: A step up from Leviathan Wakes with some really great new point of view characters. It started a bit slow for me, but eventually it became hard to have to stop listening for the day.

Audio book: Jefferson Mays is once again a good, but not great narrator. He doesn't add much to the story. He does an decent Indian accent for Avasarala, but reads everyone else the same as far as I can tell.

Full Review
Unlike Leviathan Wakes, this book started slow for me. It's likely due to thre
Tom Mathews
I think I enjoyed this book even more than I did Leviathan Wakes. Granted, the plots are remarkably similar but this book added two new thoroughly delightful characters. The first is Gunnery Sergeant Roberta "Bobbie" Draper, a 6' 6", 220 lb. (all muscle) Martian Marine with a huge score to settle. Also new, unless you've been watching The Expanse on SyFy Channel, is Chrisjen Avasarala, a high-ranking U.N. official whose grandmotherly appearance is offset by a vocabulary that would make sailors ...more

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't coming back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me

In the second book in pseudonymous authorial duo James S.A. Corey's Expanse series, the Rocinante, captained by James Holden, takes on a much stronger Firefly vibe. Holden and his crew begin the book still working for the Outer Planets Alliance, hunting pirates. The alien protomolecule that crashed into Venus last book is still doing....something down there. And a giant Polynesian sp
David Sven
Jun 28, 2012 David Sven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Just like Leviathan Wakes, a fast and easy read. This second book in the series was even better than the first I felt with more POV characters and the political system expanded on. See my review for Leviathan Wakes (
Again this book doesn't leave us hanging but completes its main plot lines. It does however give us a bit of a teaser at the end that has me itching for the next book in the series.

Continuing on where the first book left off, Jimmy Holden is
Jan 28, 2017 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars
I really really loved that book! :)

review to come when I've got more time, uni is sucking the life out of me right now.
Feb 20, 2016 Brandon rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, syfy, 2016
The second installment of James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series brings with it some new faces as well as familiar ones. We meet UN dignitary Chrisjen Avasarala, a driven politician with about as much social tact as a sledgehammer; Sergeant Bobbie Draper, a Martian Marine who witnesses her entire team annihilated by a monsterous protomolecule giant; and Dr. Prax Meng, a father desperately searching for his kidnapped daughter. They are joined by Captain James Holden and the crew of the Roci, who follo ...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "Caliban's War" Finished Reading *Spoilers* 19 65 Dec 02, 2016 08:26PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: "Caliban's War" First Impressions *No Spoilers* 46 109 Dec 02, 2016 08:13PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Expanse 14 20 Oct 17, 2016 08:38PM  
Escape The Earth!: 2016: Caliban's War 1 5 Apr 12, 2016 05:47PM  
Why is it titled Caliban's War? 7 185 Jan 11, 2016 10:12PM  
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Other Books in the Series

The Expanse (9 books)
  • Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)
  • Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3)
  • Cibola Burn (Expanse, #4)
  • Nemesis Games (Expanse, #5)
  • Babylon's Ashes (The Expanse, #6)
  • Persepolis Rising (Expanse, #7)
  • Untitled (Expanse, #8)
  • Untitled (Expanse, #9)

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“Humans can be better than they are, so let’s do that.” 30 likes
“Good, because I don’t use sex as a weapon,” Bobbie said. “I use weapons as weapons.” 24 likes
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