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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Continues... Brilliantly Well
Perhaps despite myself, I was a huge fan of the first book in this series. No FTL travel? Humanity stuck in the home system? It all just seemed a bit, well... parochial. More 'space soap' than 'space opera'. But then I actually read it and it wasn't parochial at all - it was genius. Believable characters, interesting plot, snappy dialogue, and everything coming together...
Published 23 months ago by Hopester

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars good fun to read but not very deep or challenging
More adventures with Holden and crew, good fun to read but not very deep or challenging. This isn't ground breaking SciFi.
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Continues... Brilliantly Well, 18 Aug 2012
This review is from: Caliban's War: Book Two of the Expanse series (Kindle Edition)
Perhaps despite myself, I was a huge fan of the first book in this series. No FTL travel? Humanity stuck in the home system? It all just seemed a bit, well... parochial. More 'space soap' than 'space opera'. But then I actually read it and it wasn't parochial at all - it was genius. Believable characters, interesting plot, snappy dialogue, and everything coming together to make a proper sci-fi yarn.

So I was naturally interested to read this follow-up - and it doesn't disappoint. The newer characters are all engaging, the plot is at least as interesting as in the first book, and the quality of the writing is high. It's possible that I enjoyed the first book more, but I think that's only really because the first book was such a surprise find. I read an enormous amount of sci-fi - lots of it less than stellar - but these books are well worth the attention of even the very occasional sci-fi fan.

I actually rather hate the prominence of series in sci-fi - it smacks of a lack of creativity, or of barely masked greed at the expense of creativity. But when it's done well, as it is here, it can be a real pleasure. If I hadn't already started, I might prefer to have waited to start these books until all 3 were out (because I absolutely hate waiting for sequels), but I'd heartily recommend this series to anyone and everyone who likes a good read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read, 6 July 2012
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This review is from: Caliban's War: Book Two of the Expanse series (Kindle Edition)
Having picked up the first book on a whim and being absolutely blown away by its wonderful combination of human characters, touches of hard sci-fi (there's very little hand-wavium in any of the technologies throughout) and far-reaching scope, I jumped on this second instalment.

It delivers the same excellent pacing, the same humanity to the characters - their doubts, opinions, weaknesses, strengths, developments - that reminded me of the hugely enjoyable chemistry in Joss Whedon's "Firefly". It's rare that an author has the dedication to stick to newtonian physics throughout without resorting to artificial gravity, but little touches like that keep the universe consistent and grounded in a way that sci-fi can often lose to high concepts or low-brow flash. Also, unstoppable space zombies that may or may not eat planets. What a fantastic combination ^_^

I would strongly recommend this series; it's hugely enjoyable, well crafted and stands out from the Banks and Asimov that I've been reading recently as a gem of unadulterated pleasure.

Can hardly wait for the next in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story I wanted, and the story I didn't..., 12 Aug 2013
By 
Mark Chitty (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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When I picked up Leviathan Wakes late in the game I knew that the general consensus of the novel was pretty good, that it was a well portrayed near-future science fiction, and that it lived up to the initial hype surrounding it. My opinion was pretty much along those lines too, and I ranked it right up there with the best novels I'd read that year. To say I was eager to read Caliban's War is somewhat of an understatement, but history does have a habit of repeating itself and here I am over a year after its release finally getting around to it. What I found within the pages of Caliban's War is both the story I wanted, and the story I didn't...

Caliban's War is set against the backdrop of the aftermath of events from Leviathan Wakes, and picks up the story a few short months later. With the protomolecule doing all sorts of strange things on Venus, tensions are high between Earth and the outer planets, with fighting breaking out on Ganymede after a horrifyingly familiar creature attacks both sides. As events continue to unfold, the bigger picture of the solar system becomes clearer, though it is far from straight forward.

While Leviathan Wakes focused on two points of view - starship pilot Holden, and detective Miller - this time it's expanded to that of four: Holden; Earth UN politician Avasarala; Ganymede botanist Prax; and Martian marine Bobbie. Holden is the only returning point of view, and his ship and crew are still very much a part of the picture. Of the new viewpoints, Avasarala is my favourite. She's a straight-talking, no-nonsense politician that, perhaps unintentionally, brings a smile to my face when she's on the page, despite the seriousness of the situation. Bobbie is interesting being the sole survivor of the opening attack. She doesn't play the political game, instead being completely frustrated at those that dance around issues rather than discussing them outright. Prax is the odd one out, if you could call him that. His daughter went missing during the events of the opening chapter, and he's desperate to find her. He hasn't got many resources at his disposal, and it's not until later on that his story starts to really build up speed as he becomes further integrated into the wider plot.

The plot to Caliban's War is good, but it doesn't have the focus I thought it would have on Venus and the protomolecule. There is plenty of action, intrigue, and entertainment to be had in Caliban's War, so it's unfair to say it's not enjoyable, but I was a little disappointed. There is no doubt that Corey is delivering some very good science fiction here, and the promise that the series holds is huge. Suffice to say, if you enjoyed Leviathan Wakes you'll find plenty here to keep you entertained. However, I'll be stepping into the third book, Abaddon's Gate, with a little more caution.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Book in the excellent Leviathan Wakes series, 24 May 2013
By 
P. Owen "Aiki 'n' Games" (Monmouthshire, Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caliban's War: Book Two of the Expanse series (Kindle Edition)
Written by the writing "team" under the nom-de-plume of James S. A. Corey the book takes us further into the "Expanse" universe of ancient alien bio-weapons mis-used by humanity for political gain and potentially destroying us all (sociopaths eh!).

This volume introduces the United Nations of Earth and to a lesser extent the Martian Colonies in greater detail (the first book concentrated on the Belt and outer planets polities) and develops the "first contact" and threat of alien tech further - the ending is aweing and sets the scene perfectly for the third book "Abbadon Gates" (June 2013).

The books use a "by character" per chapter viewpoint, not unlike Robert Jordan's Wheel of time - EXCEPT that it is (very) good, with tight storytelling, believable behaviour, every chapter actually having some reason for being there. Difficult book to put down and leaves you wanting more as the first novel did. Keep it up gentlemen.

To everyone else - READ IT! And enjoy,

PaulO
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enigma wrapped in a Riddle., 2 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. A. Healy - See all my reviews
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This is just as wonderfully unfathomable as his first volume. A few loose ends are tidied up, but, more erupt to replace them. It really gets you brain fully warped- but enjoyably so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The war had begun ... maybe, 21 July 2012
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A fantastic sequel to Leviathan wakes, and a greet edge of your seat read. A good Hard Scifi book you will be hooked
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid but not as good as the original, 14 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Caliban's War: Book Two of the Expanse series (Kindle Edition)
The first volume of series was one of the best sci fi reads I had in a while (literally couldnt put the book down) and the second part promises more of the same. It doesn't quite reach the standard of leviathan wakes (It might just be my personal preference) but i would recommend it to anyone, writing and characters are great and i can't wait for the next part already.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but a little lacking compared to the first volume., 17 Jun 2012
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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An alien protomolocule has taken root on Venus. Earth and Mars are in a shooting match over an incident on Ganymede. The Solar system is moving towards all-out anarchy and war, and it falls to a well-meaning meddler, a canny politician, a Martian marine and a grief-stricken botanist to try to stop the descent into madness.

Caliban's War is the second novel in The Expanse series, following on from last year's well-received Leviathan Wakes. This is old-school space opera, featuring the crew of a spacecraft as they attempt to save the Solar system from an alien menace. The series features some nods towards serious science - the ships work strictly by Newtonian physics and there is no FTL travel, with the scope of events being limited (so far) to the Solar system alone - but it's certainly not hard SF. The emphasis is being on an entertaining, fast-paced read, and the book pulls this off with aplomb.

The cast of characters has been expanded in this volume, with only Holden returning as a POV character from the first volume. Unlike the first novel, which had a grand total of two POVs, this second volume features four: Holden, UN politician Avasarala, botanist Prax and marine Bonnie. This means that the authors have three major new characters to introduce us to, as well as continuing the storyline from the first novel and evolving the returning cast of characters (Holden and his crew). This results in the pace being marginally slower than in Leviathan Wakes, although certainly not fatally so. Indeed, Abraham and Franck imbue the new characters with interesting backstories, motivations and quirks. It's also quite amusing that the most enjoyable character in an action-packed space opera is a 70-year-old politician with a potty mouth.

There's some major shoot-outs, a few big space battles, a close encounter with a rampaging monster in a zero-gravity cargo hold and other action set pieces that are handled well, but the book falters a little in its handling of politics (which are fairly lightweight) and the characterisation of the bad guys, who never rise above the obvious.

Caliban's War (***) is not as accomplished as its forebear but is still a page-turning, solidly enjoyable read. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but why the price?, 11 Jun 2013
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More thrill a minute space opera with enough intellegent writing to keep more discerning readers interested. This is the way I love my sci-fi; guns, politics, space ships and a deep dark brooding threat. But why the cost, Amazon? I can go down to Waterstones and by cheaper than this. If it wasn't for a brief price drop I wouldn't have bought, which doesn't seem fair, on the Author does it?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book 2, 8 May 2013
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This review is from: Caliban's War: Book Two of the Expanse series (Kindle Edition)
it just keeps getting better and better
wonderful sci-fi but, if you took that away it would it's still be a brilliant book packed with political intrigue

fab, can't wait for book 3!
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