Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 solar system.
In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .
This book made me read in a way that is different to how I normally would, in that I consciously took my time and even had to force myself to slow down periodically. This is the second book in the epic space opera series The Expanse, and you really begin to get a sense that there's so much more of the story ahead. This made me want to fully digest it and enjoy the fantastic storytelling. The world-building here is about as good as it gets in sci-fi, even though the overall story is still currently confined to our own solar system. The writing style is wonderful, and it has to be said that these guys really know how to write.
The 'protomolecule' that we were introduced to in Leviathan Wakes is back in action again but in a more advanced state to wreak havoc about the place and is now carrying out some sort of large-scale breeding program on Venus. Jim Holden and his likeable crew are again swept up into the action, and end up on the hunt for a missing person and becoming central players in a massive standoff between the Earth, Martian and Belter military forces.
A couple of new main characters are introduced to us, firstly there is Bobbie who is an intimidating female Martian soldier caught in the middle of things after an encounter with the protomolecule on Ganymede, and second there is Avasarala who is a hard and abrasive Earth politician and who is smart enough to join the dots and figure out who is behind the current situation.
The battle scenes seemed to be a little more brief than in Leviathan Wakes, but this is not a bad thing at all, and I reckon there's plenty of action for anyone in there.
Overall it's good, very good, and surely must rate as a must-read for all fans of top-shelf space opera.
It's followed by Abaddon's Gate & Cibola Burn, and there are three novellas as well that fit in between the main novels.
View all my reviews