Cibola Burns by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

The gates have opened the way to thousands of habitable planets, and the land rush has begun. Settlers stream out from humanity’s home planets in a vast, poorly controlled flood, landing on a new world. Among them, the Rocinante, haunted by the vast, posthuman network of the protomolecule as they investigate what destroyed the great intergalactic society that built the gates and the protomolecule.

But Holden and his crew must also contend with the growing tensions between the settlers and the company which owns the official claim to the planet. Both sides will stop at nothing to defend what’s theirs, but soon a terrible disease strikes and only Holden – with help from the ghostly Detective Miller – can find the cure.

Review

I will be honest I always find the beginning of The Expanse books a little slow but once I get into them and the story starts to get moving and I simply can’t put the book down. Cibola Burns proved to be exactly the same.

As usual the book is told from a few characters’ points of view and the characters that we had this time were Holden, Basia, Elvi, Havelock and The Investigator. The prologue is from Bobbie and the epilogue is by Avasarala. Each chapter is told by a different character and shows us each scene and situation from the point of view of that character. 

Holden we know really well by now, captain of the Rocinante and a man who always tries to do the right thing but does have a habit of inadvertently causing conflict between people. Holden is sent with his crew Naomi, Alex and my favourite Amos through the gates to help mediate the situation between the Belters and RCE on the new planet Ilus. Both the Belters and RCE claim the planet is theirs but the Belters were there first and they will do anything they can to make sure they can keep it and the mining rights. 

Basia is one of the Belters on Ilus and he lives there with his wife and two children but Basia has fallen in with the wrong crowd and makes some questionable decisions which land him in hot water. However, he is a good man and a dam good welder who will do anything he can to help his family.

Elvi is one of the scientists who arrive with the RCE ship and I must admit she is rather annoying. Yes, she is clearly a genius and is very useful for the story but the way she follows Holden around like a lost puppy is rather annoying and she can be rather heartless sometimes with the things she says. She forgets people have feelings sometimes.

Havelock we have already met as he was Miller’s partner at one point. Havelock is now working for the security of RCE and is trying to keep a ship full of scientists calm. Havelock is a character who always tries to do the right thing. He is understanding and tries to keep everyone happy but sadly he has a rather different boss who makes him do things he is not keen on or embarrassed about.

The Investigator was actually my favourite point of view and I found it rather fascinating and I was frustrated that we did not see more of The Investigator. I will not say more as don’t want to spoil the character. 

Overall, this story touches many points, immigration, major corporations crushing the little people, love, terrorism and much more. I particularly liked seeing how the intruders on the planet were effected by the natural ecosystem of the planet. I give this book 5 out 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Reviews of previous Expanse books

Leviathan Wakes

Caliban’s War

Abaddon’s Gate

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Gods of Risk by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Gods of Risk by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

As tension between Mars and Earth mounts, and terrorism plagues the Martian city of Londres Nova, sixteen-year-old David Draper is fighting his own lonely war. A gifted chemist vying for a place at the university, David leads a secret life as a manufacturer for a ruthless drug dealer. When his friend Leelee goes missing, leaving signs of the dealer’s involvement, David takes it upon himself to save her. But first he must shake his aunt Bobbie Draper, an ex-marine who has been set adrift in her own life after a mysterious series of events nobody is talking about.

Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War, Gods of Risk deepens James S. A. Corey’s acclaimed Expanse series.

Review

This story is based around a character that we have not met before in the previous books but we have met his aunt, who is Bobbie Draper. David Draper is sixteen and under a lot of pressure to get a good placement at university but he also has a secret and that secret is that he is secretly making drugs for a drug dealer. 

David is like any other gifted teenager, he is hard working and desperate for the placement of his dreams that he knows will also make his family proud of him. David is also the typical moody teenager and he particularly is not keen on having aunt Bobbie staying in the house. David also has a crush on Leelee who is always with the drug dealer and dreams of one day being her boyfriend. This crush leads to trouble for David when he decides to save her from her fate.

I must admit I can’t believe how much weight lifting she does in this short story, every time we see her she is lifting weights, I have no idea how she finds the energy. She also seems to do a lot of arguing with her brother but to be honest he seems to be the one doing the provoking and does come across as rather a know it all who thinks his job is the hardest job there is and that being a marine is nothing compared to being an engineer. 

Although the story is based around David we do get to see how Bobbie is faring after the events of Caliban’s War and as the story goes on we see how Bobbie makes her mind up about a few things and these decisions are helped along by her involvement with her nephew.

This is a great little short story that I enjoyed reading and it was fantastic to read about Bobbie again. I give this story 4 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Kindle

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

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 . . .

Review

Yay, Avasarala has finally arrived and she is even better than she is in the TV series. The woman is amazing!

So as you can tell already this book has really made me very happy and I just loved it and could not put it down. We also get to meet the amazing Bobbie. This book has some amazingly strong female characters and it really is a wonderful read.

Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view and the characters that are used this time are Holden, Prax, Bobbie and Avasarala. All the characters start in different places, Holden on board the Roci, Bobbie and Prax on Ganymede and Avasarala on Earth. As events unfold the characters’ storylines start to entwine and come together. The battle against the protomolecule has begun!

Holden

We find Holden aboard the Roci with Naomi, Alex and Amos trying to keep the peace for the OPA and working for Fred Johnson. However, it is clear that events from the first book have taken effect on Holden and he is not his usual self and this is affecting his relationship with Naomi and the rest of the crew. When Holden and his crew then meet Prax and start to help Prax find his missing daughter Holden starts to find his true self again.

Bobbie

Bobbie is a Martian marine who watches her platoon get slaughtered on Ganymede by some kind of monster never seen before and she wants revenge and she will do anything to get it. Eventually, Bobbie meets Avasarala and a friendship clearly develops between the Earther and the Martian. I must admit this relationship was my favourite part of the book. Bobbie is a soldier and an intimidating woman who scares most men but Avasarala sees her as an asset and someone she can trust. Avasarala swears at Bobbie and tells her off but Bobbie gives the same back and is not afraid to tell Avasarala what she thinks in return. 

Avasarala

Avasarala is a UN politician and will do anything to protect her beloved Earth but she also believes in peace and trying to stop war happening between Earth and Mars. She can see through the rubbish and knows things are not right and she has to play the ‘game’ as she calls it to work out what is going on and keep the peace and she needs Bobbie’s help and the crew of the Roci to accomplish this. I just love when she walks onto the Roci and immediately tells Holden to have a shave and starts dishing out orders. She is woman who takes no nonsense and believes anybody will follow her orders.

Prax

Prax is a botanist from Ganymede whose daughter has been kidnapped and he manages to enlist Holden and his crew to get her back. I loved Prax’s character. He will do anything for his daughter but he is very lost and is not looking after himself but thankfully Amos comes along and takes him under his wing and looks after Prax. Amos the big scary Earther who is quite happy to beat people up and kill is definitely the defender of the weak in this book and it is wonderful to see and rather amusing. Prax finds himself a family in the crew of the Roci and slowly he comes out of his shell as the story moves on.

I thoroughly loved this book and loved seeing the characters develop through the book. The ending of the book also left me very intrigued and I can’t wait to start reading the next book in the series. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and I personally think it is even better than the first book.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey (Review)

The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

A new story set in the world of The Expanse. One day, Colonel Fred Johnson will be hailed as a hero to the system. One day, he will meet a desperate man in possession of a stolen spaceship and a deadly secret and extend a hand of friendship. But long before he became the leader of the Outer Planets Alliance, Fred Johnson had a very different name. The Butcher of Anderson Station.

Review

We first meet Fred Johnson in Leviathan Wakes and we soon realise that he has a past and this short story tells us what that past is. 

I really enjoyed reading this short story as it shows what made Johnson join the OPA and become an advocate for their cause. It also introduces us to Anderson Dawes who is a member of the OPA and we get a brief introduction to his character as well which is really interesting.

I already know the story of Johnson from watching the TV series but it was really heart breaking to read the story of the slaughter of the workers and families of Anderson station. 

I read this short story in one setting and really enjoyed it as it filled in a bit of background story. The more I read of this series the more I fall in love with the writing. I give this story 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Link

Amazon

About the author 

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

My review of Leviathan Wakes.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, “The Scopuli,” they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to “The Scopuli” and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Review

My husband and myself are massive fans of the TV series The Expanse so I thought it was high time I read the book and I am so pleased that I have started the series.

The first thing I was really surprised about was how close the TV series followed the book which is always a nice surprise as it is really annoying when the book and TV series are all different. 

The thing I loved about the book the most was how much more you get to learn about the Earth, Mars and the Belt. I loved finding out about the history of how the Belt was formed and how Belters are so physically different from people born and bred on Earth. I also love how this story is showing how the human race has advanced to live on asteroids, moons and Mars but hasn’t quite got the stars yet.

I think my favourite character in the book was easily Miller, he has had a hard life and now it has been turned upside down and he is trying to find a way to survive. He knows how to read situations and is a seasoned cop but he also knows that his way of life has had a serious effect on his humanity.

Holden and his crew are trying to piece the events that have happened to them together and in so doing they meet Miller and Holden and Miller form a friendship even if that friendship doesn’t always run smoothly. I must admit I do get annoyed with Holden at times, he is very naive at times and really does not understand the world of politics.

Amos, Alex and Naomi are Holden’s crew and they all have their individual personalities. Naomi is a Belter who can fix anything and seems to hold the crew together. Alex is a fantastic pilot who has a great affection for his fellow crew members and who also has a great sense of humour. Then there is my favourite member of the crew, Amos. Amos is an Earther but he hasn’t been on Earth for so long that he might as well be a Belter. Amos clearly has a past but we do not know what that past is yet but we do find out as the book goes on that he is a seasoned fighter and is very happy with handling firearms and hand to hand combat.

This book is a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book. The comedy in the book also had me laughing out loud several times. I highly recommend this book to all sci-fi fans and give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.