Caliban’s War is the second book in the Expanse series. You can read my review of the first book, Leviathan Wakes here.
I really enjoyed the first book of this series, I thought it was a fun and fast-paced space opera and that it was a solid first installment in what is supposed to be a nine books series.
As much as I liked Levianthan Wakes, Caliban’s War takes the story on a higher level. First of all, the cast of characters grows, we are now following four very different characters instead of two. The first one remains Jim Holden, the new Captain of the Rocinante who now works for the OPA. The other three characters are all introduced in this book. Praxidilike, or Prax, is a biologist working on Ganymede, however his life is going to be shattered the moment his planet is attacked by a mysterious monster and someone kidnaps his daughter. Bobbie is a Martian Marine working on station on Ganymede during the attack where she is going to lost all of her shipmates. The last character introduced in Avasarala, a UN official trying to understand what is happening while maintaining peace between Earth and Mars.
Of course, as you may have guessed, all of their paths are going to cross during the story.
One thing that I did not like that much in Levianthan Wakes was the lack of female characters. Naomi (Holden’s genius girlfriend) was great but she was pretty much the only female character to have a big influence and we did not have the chance to see the story from her POV.
However, Bobbie and Avasarala were great. They probably are some of my favorite female characters ever. I was always looking forward to their chapters and Avasarala made me laugh out loud a lot because well, let’s just say that the lady can swear, and with a lot of originality. They were both very strong and very good at their jobs but they were at the same time still very human and they felt 100% real. I hope that they are going to have important roles in the future of the story !
I was also glad that we had the chance to explore and to see more of the world, the different cultures but also the importance of politics between Earth and Mars that were just mentionned in Leviathan Wakes.
My biggest disappointment was the lack of character development in Holden’s character. After two books he remains the same and the way he acts would be extremely dangerous if not for his wonderful crew which is always here to tell him to stop being so stupid. I think that Jim Holden incarnates all the bad habits of Jim Kirk in Star Trek but not really what makes him a great captain. I hope that this is going to change because his POV was always the one I did not want to read.
Overall this book was great and I liked it a lot more than the first one. I can’t wait to read Abaddon’s Gate and I should get to it soon since I have already ordered it !