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Caliban's War

(The Expanse #2)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  94,998 ratings  ·  5,414 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 fi…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

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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  94,998 ratings  ·  5,414 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Things go very wrong in 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,
Mario the lone bookwolf
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: corey-james-s-a
I´ve recently finished the eighth part and I must say that the immense coherency, precision in plotting, and meta context are so finetuned that it is a joy to read. The effort to polish this until perfection without hardly any logic holes, lengths, and errors and to stay comprehensible must be immense and I must say that I´ve rarely ever seen something like that in Sci-Fi because it´s such a difficult task.

Mostly, the novels of a series are closed in itself and there are not so many retrospects
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars

Avasarala is finally here!!!

Unlike Leviathan Wakes, I’m venturing into uncharted territory within the series for the first time here. By that, I meant that I haven’t watched any part of Caliban’s War, the second book in The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey duo, in the television series adaptation except for some episodes consisting of Avasarala and Bobbie. Caliban’s War is a superior book compared to Leviathan Wakes in every aspect. This is caused mostly by Corey’s decision to expa
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
**Reread update 5/17/17**

One big thing that stands out to me going back to this after reading all the available books in the series is that my complaint about distinct bad guys not getting introduced until very late in the stories was addressed. From this point on we almost always have a face of the threat through most of the action, and that’s an improvement that made a great series even better.

I also wanted to check this out again after seeing the second season of the TV series. The show has g
Jun 25, 2013 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)...
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Awesome! A+

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who have series OCD and read Leviathan Wakes
Shelves: awards, yawn, sci-fi
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
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at

I was a little hesitant to pick up Caliban’s War because the first book (Leviathan Wakes) was so amazing, how could the second book possibly compare? I was even worried I’d get bored because I thought I’d figured out which characters we’d be following and what direction the story was headed… Boy was I wrong! And happy to be so. It was definitely different from the first novel, and didn’t lack any of the adventure and excitement!

As I mentioned, I
Feb 14, 2016 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
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
[5 Stars] That ending. Someone hold me. I wasn't ready for that.
Re-Read 7/7/18

It's so great doing a re-read. I mean, I was somewhat hesitant at first but it's so rich with detail and the action is perfect. And by action, I don't just mean Bobby in her Goliath suit. I mean Avasarala on her com. :) Avasarala is a FORCE to behold. :)

All in all, though, this second book happens to kick major butt. Venus really stole the show by the end, but all the Powers butting heads was also fun as hell.

Did anyone else whoop when Avasarala and Bobby got on the Rocinante?

It wa
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
*** 4.25 ***

"...“That man’s asshole must be tight enough right now to bend space.”..."

It must be the right time for me and Sci-Fi, because I loved it! Caliban's War is the second installment in the "Expance" series and I actually enjoyed it better than the first one! No, nothing was wrong with the first one either, I even missed our pulp-noir drunken detective with nothing to lose, but fortunately the authors gave us to kick-ass female characters who more than made up for Miller's loss.

Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audio, library, 2020
4 to 4.5 stars

The Space Opera continues and it ain't over until the fat lady sings . . . or, until you make your way through several oversized tomes!

I don't really have anything to add to this review that I didn't already already cover in my review of Leviathan Wakes. It is another epic in the middle of a bigger epic. The characters are dynamic and interesting. The action is intense. The horror is terrifyingly. All in all, a satisfying and exhausting experience.

When I read books and series like
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this second installment, we're still following events I already know (more or less) from the show.

After billions of years of being in the Solar system, unable to do what it came here to do, the protomolecule is working hard on finishing its job now, whatever that job is.
We meet a few new players in this second installment, most notably Avasarala and Bobbie. The former is a potty-mouthed deputy to the UN Secretary General, the latter a kick-ass Martian Marine.
These two allow us glimpses at E
Lindsey Rey
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OMG!!!!!! WTF WTF WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Dirk Grobbelaar
Dying she could handle.
Dying without any answers seemed terribly cruel.

I read Leviathan Wakes way back. While I enjoyed it well enough, I wasn’t compelled to rush off and start the next book immediately.

But, here we are. And given that this has now been adapted into a TV series (which I haven’t watched yet), the time has come to pick up where I left off…

“Ladies and gentlemen. This settlement is in security lockdown.”

…and I’m glad that I did! If this book is anything to go by the series is shapi
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Avasarala and Bobbi are great! They get to be a lot stronger than the show.

Love the firefly led into the next book.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The second novel in The Expanse series finds Holden and the crew of the Rocinante trying to stop further attempts to weaponize the protomolecule, with a little help from a Martian marine, a belt-born botanist, and a UN power broker.
As exciting and action packed as the first book, and nearly as good. The ending, while spectacular, doesn't quite pack the emotional punch of its predecessor.
More like 4 and a half.

Yup, I drank the damn Kool-Aid and now I’m reading this series of inconveniently huge paperbacks. Sigh. What can I tell you: “The Expanse” is everything I could possibly want a space opera to be, both on the page and on the screen. It’s intricately plotted, furiously paced (I have screamed: “One more episode!” at my husband too many times to keep count), filled with awesome and diverse characters, and the world building is amazing. Now my struggle is figuring out how to fr
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Caliban's War (Expanse, #2), James S.A. Corey

Caliban's War is a 2012 science fiction novel by James S. A. Corey (pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). It is about a conflict in the solar system that involves Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt (colonies of people living on asteroids, referred to as "Belters"). It is the second book in The Expanse series.

On Ganymede, Mei Meng is kidnapped from her preschool by her doctor. Several hours later, Earth and Martian space marines are attacked and e
CALIBAN'S WAR is the second book in The Expanse series, and this is the one that made me a true fan and ensured my continuation of the series.

I want to make a special mention of the character Chrisjen Avasarala, the UN official-OMG her foul mouth had me laughing my ass off! She was a new character in this volume, as was Bobbi, (a Martian Marine), and Prax, a botanist on Ganymede. I loved them.

I also want to say that this narrator is fabulous!

Highly recommended! (But you must read this series i
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.
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I am buddy reading this series with my boyfriend – which is something we have not done before but which is enhancing my enjoyment of this series immensely. But that meant that I had to take about a month’ break in the middle of the book so that he could catch up – and then he sped up and finished the book around 200 pages before me (which is just rude).

This book starts some time after the events of the first book – and the structure mirrors that one a bit too closely I found. In the prologue we
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jul 16, 2012 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
Scott  Hitchcock
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: expanse, sci-fi
Book 1: 5*
Book 2: 4.5*

This one took a while to get going whereas the first one I was engaged from the start. Still this book delivers and the ending is fabulous. I hear a lot of readers saying all the books out there are YA and there's no good adult characters. Abraham/Corey delivers in all of his series this one included.

Avasarala who is a new character to this series is multilayered and beyond that just a lot of fun. I'd love to share a glass of scotch with her just to see how she would insul
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, r2017, scifi
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
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Meet the newest Expanse fan girl! I'm in love!
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Nov 08, 2016 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
Jun 16, 2012 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
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Hugo & Nebula Awa...: The Expanse #2: Caliban's War 40 26 Mar 17, 2020 11:38AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Caliban's War [Sept 10, 2019] 24 29 Oct 03, 2019 10:50AM  
Why is it titled Caliban's War? 10 646 May 11, 2019 04:59PM  
Beyond Reality: The Expanse--Caliban's War: Roll call & first impressions 10 25 Oct 06, 2017 09:09PM  

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Other books in the series

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

You probably know coauthors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey—their shared pen name. And you probably know them from their wildly po...
149 likes · 20 comments
“If life transcends death, then I will seek for you there. If not, then there too.” 68 likes
“Humans can be better than they are, so let’s do that.” 45 likes
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