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Caliban's War (Expanse, #2)
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Caliban's War (Expanse #2)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  17,994 ratings  ·  1,318 reviews
We are not alone.

The alien protomolecule is clear evidence of an intelligence beyond human reckoning. No one knows what exactly is being built on Venus, but whatever it is, it is vast, powerful, and terrifying.

When a creature of unknown origin and seemingly impossible physiology attacks soldiers on Ganymede, the fragile balance of power in the Solar System shatters. Now, t
Paperback, 601 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Orbit (first published 2012)
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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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 30, 2015 Carol. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
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
OK, I liked this book, however I think that at its core, was 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 offer for a series, here, they know that they have now a serie, so they leave in a cliffhanger th ...more
Timothy Ward
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
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
Kevin Hearne
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.

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
Tom Merritt

I have had so much fun discovering this series, I'm only upset that I now have to wait for Abaddon's Gate. The crew of the Rocinante really gels into a likable unit in this book and the new characters of Chrisjen and Bobbie do not disappoint. My only regret and also relief is that nobody you love dies. An excellent follow-up to Leviathan Wakes.
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
Last year’s Leviathan Wakes was pretty well received on the whole (though some did question its science.) Not only was it one of the Locus Books of the year and a Hugo nominee, it was one of our SFFWorld SF Books of 2011, on the part of Rob and myself. So this sequel is much awaited, and not just by us.

Set a few months after Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War moves things along on a bigger and grander scale. Some of the events of LW continue to make their mark. The planet Venus is being altered by
Šta reći nego opet sjajno! Za mrvicu slabiji nastavak nego "Buđenje Nemani" (i zato četiri zvezdice) al opet neverovatno zabavno, uzbudljivo, napeto. Poslednjih stotinak stranica sam iščitao (bukvalno) ko na iglama. Super mi je što je dosta drugih likova dobilo svoja POV poglavlja (Bobi i Avasarala su kraljice) Dešavanja na Ganimedu, pa zatim bitka kod Io-a i želja da se konačno razjasni šta se to dešava na Veneri terale su me da svaku stranicu upijam od prve do poslednje reči.Zaista mi je falio ...more

Caliban's War is the middle tome of the planned trilogy, Expanse, by the dual author James S.A. Corey. I have a biased opinion about middle books in general as I find that they tend to be mediocre or even regressive. By my reckoning, whether right or wrong, having a weak middle tome sets a lower bar for the finale, or presents a starker contrast to notch up our appreciation of the full work. As I said, this is a personal bias.

In the case of Caliban's War, the story thread is a secondary offshoo

David Sven
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
Second verse, same as the first –intrasolar medium-future scifi heavy on the politics with occasional alien goo monster horror set pieces. It even introduced a new character whose arc depends entirely on his pain over the fact that a girl he cares about is missing. That being necessary to replace the nearly identical plotline from the first book that was resolved, you understand. At least take 2 was way less psychosexually creepy.

Basically, it's another summer blockbuster. Splashy, surprisingly
I had fun with this most of the way through. I think of it as George R.R. Martin science fiction. A big emphasis is on the characters, with each equal-sized chapter from one of a handful of characters' point of view. Somehow I enjoyed the teasing towards different events more than the actual delivery, and hesitated to finish it and even write this review. Although there is a decent amount of realism. Like the Incomparable podcast said, this would fit well as a tv show. A lot of the time is devot ...more
Michael Cummings
When I reviewed Leviathan Wakes, I mentioned that I sat on that book for too long and was kicking myself for it. This time, I didn't make that mistake, and now I have to live with the repercussions - waiting another year for the third volume.

Readers of Leviathan Wakes will be able to step into the pages of this book without pause. The writing duo that makes up James S.A. Corey took an approach I have to respect - there's no backstory, no summation of the previous novel, not even an awkward chapt
4.5 Stars

A fabulous and very different sequel to the fantastic book one of the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey. This book is much more a horror science fiction novel than it is a space opera. Holden is back and he and his crew are back for a fun thriller of a ride. The mystery behind Venus is growing, the cover ups are coming to light, and Ganymede is the new center for this book.

I loved this page turner and loved how much it reminded me of the Browncoats or the crew of the Ketty Jay. I also
Radu Stanculescu
I'm not sure if it was the new characters, the development of the old ones, the pace or the fact that this time I knew what to expect that made this book better than Leviathan Wakes. Maybe a combination of all these factors.

I've read some criticism about how the plot in this one is too similar to the first book, but I read it more as a "we don't learn from our mistakes" story. And frankly, from looking at the world around us, it's as real a story as it gets.
Fantasy Review Barn

Maybe I just have a thing for elderly ladies that take charge and make everyone around them dance to their music. Maybe I am a much bigger fan of a basic space opera than I ever will be of detective noir. Maybe I just really didn’t enjoy a race through a space station of ‘vomit zombies’ that seemed to go on forever in the first book of this series.

Whatever the reason, I found Caliban’s War to be a much stronger outing than Leviathan Wakes.

The first book of the series set the s
Firefly-type space opera episode two - complete with villains, heroes, alien threat, abduction and rescue, great action scenes and cranky potty-mouthed grandmother. Not great literature - I suspect will never be a classic - but nevertheless fun and entertaining reading. A great holiday read, volumes 1-3 easily fitted into a relaxing week at the beach.
Mar 22, 2015 DMS rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ali Çetinbudaklar
İlk kitaptan daha akıcı, ama çok fazla kendini geliştirememiş buldum maalesef. Öncelikle space-opera olarak doyacaksınız bu kitaba, hele ki son yüz sayfa baya tatmin edecektir. Özelikle 1.kitaptaki politik dengeleri temel alarak üstüne inşa edilen bu kitapta, yine bu dengelerin iğne ipliğine nasıl bağlı olduğunu görüyoruz, o ipliğin "koptu kopacak" olmasını okurlar büyük bir gerilimle takip edecektir. Ne var ki, Space-Operaların kaçınılmaz mürettebat-kaptan-gemi ilişkisine, bu kitapta bir türlü ...more
I was a big fan of 2011′s Leviathan Wakes from duo known collectively as James S. A. Corey and was extraordinarily excited to get started with the sequel Caliban’s War. Picking up not too long after the events of Leviathan Wakes, in Caliban’s War the alien protomolecule has taken up residence on Venus and watching from a distance humanity watches with fear in trepidation as the incomprehensible lifeform seemingly bides its time building something. The fragile peace of the solar system is shatter ...more
This was just as much fun as the first book. It’s another rollicking space opera set within our solar system. I love the characters, particularly Holden (“He’s not that bad once you get past the self-righteousness”) and crew. I love the setting: this has domed colonies growing crops on Ganymede; Martian marines with badass armored spacesuits; and interplanetary politicking punctuated with the occasional orbital bombardment or exchange of torpedoes.

Despite a body count in the thousands (mostly at
I had to let this one sit for awhile to see if I really wanted to give it 5 stars. I do. This will not be everyone's experience, but the combination of social sci-fi, military sci-fi (complete w/some awesome mecha elements), horror or space opera really hit a bunch of my buttons. It doesn't hurt, of course, that there's a strong thread of crisis PR throughout the story. Plus there are relationship arcs, scientific arcs, political arcs and an overall story arc that feeds back in to Leviathan Wake ...more
David Monroe
Can't wait for this one.
After reading only two of his books, James S.A. Corey ( the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) has convinced that he is indeed the best new space opera writer since Peter F. Hamilton. And seeing how much I enjoy Hamilton books, this is no small feast ( Hamilton only stays ahead because I have had the pleasure to have dinner with him 13 years ago and he is every bit as enjoyable in real as his books are).

Anyway, this book takes place a few months after Leviathan Wakes and reuses some of th
I still really enjoyed this novel of the Expanse series, but there were a couple of things that I didn't like quite as much as the last book.

The book is set a couple of years after the end of the last book ( I believe). The first and second chapters of the book are gripping- great writing! Bobbie, the Martian Marine, ends up being about my favorite character in the book. Although we certainly get the picture- she's a big girl, yes, she certainly is big.

Another reviewer noted that the plot is alm
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Why is it titled Caliban's War? 6 75 Jan 19, 2015 12:38PM  
Adventures in Sci...: Half way through: thoughts 1 18 Mar 17, 2014 10:31AM  
Adventures in Sci...: Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey: Thoughts on first hundred pages 1 18 Aug 08, 2013 12:05PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Expanse (5 books)
  • Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)
  • Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3)
  • Cibola Burn (Expanse, #4)
  • Nemesis Games (Expanse, #5)
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1) Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3) Cibola Burn (Expanse, #4) The Butcher of Anderson Station (Expanse, #0.5) Gods of Risk (Expanse, #2.5)

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