Overview (No Spoilers):
Caliban’s War is a faithful sequel to The Expanse’s inaugural Leviathan Wakes. My initial delay in picking up Caliban’s War, despite enjoying the first installment, was due to the future situation seeming hopeless for the solar system as a whole. As expected, throughout Caliban’s War the reader is most definitely left feeling at a loss as a result of the limitless power of the protomolecule. Additionally, the extent at which the greed of specific corporations induced blinders as to the far reaching consequences of their actions seemed far fetched to me. Although, upon further reflection, some companies today and in recent memory pursue the same short sighted agendas from reading about the poisoning of the The Radium Girls to the current, still evolving, pollution of PFAS to every corner of the earth. After watching the Netflix documentary “The Devil We Know” which highlights what and when 3M and Dupont knew regarding the effects of their miracle compound biologically and the fact that they withheld that information, ultimately brings credibility to the evil literary corporations in series, such as The Expanse. Back to the read, Corey introduced new intriguing characters such as Chrisjen Avasarala whose motives left you guessing, along with Praxidike Meng and Bobby Draper who both became some of my favorites. As needed, Holden’s faithful crew were given the depth that they were lacking in book one, although the crew was ridiculously lucky surviving impossible situations. An unwelcome surprise was the change in personality of Holden who had previously been an immovable rock of morality. While this change caused his actions to become less one dimensional, it also made him proportionally dislikable as a character. Overall, Caliban’s War worked to establish the foundation for the rest of the Expanse series to springboard off, especially with an unexpected cliff hanger that will leave the reader reeling, and eager to pick up the next installment.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Will any of the protomolecule missiles that Io shot at Mars make it past the missile defense?
- The ending battle was so abrupt compared to the time spent building up to the big event!
- I was so annoyed at Holden for just assuming that Fred had sold the protomolecule. It was out of character for both individuals. And how naive of Holden for thinking that the powerful company behind the protomolecule didn’t have backups stored somewhere else.
- Did Holden really ‘kill’ the stowaway or is it still floating somewhere around in the vacuum of space?
- Miller is back! Is he infectious? Is he the messenger from Venus?
- Why is Venus tearing apart ships? Is she going to build her own ships?
- It was interesting to see Julie’s dad in person. Also, we got to see her racer in action. Did the protomolecule recognize the racer?
- Will the solar system be able to unite against Venus?
- I find myself dreading the next book as I can only foresee how it will be filled with hopelessness and despair.