Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
I'm about two week's behind in writing this review. I wanted to finish
the book before I left for Worldcon, with the best of intentions to write down
my thoughts during the evening when I had some downtime.
So. A belated attempt to pull my thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. Reading Leviathan's Wake first is a must. Which my book group did here: Leviathan's Wake. Caliban's War had everything that's makes space opera, "Space Opera".
Caliban's War is a face paced space opera that bounces between four points of view: James Holden, captain of the Rocinante, and his crew have stumbled upon something very, very nasty on Ganymede. Prax is on Ganymede when one of the mirrored solar arrays crashes to the tiny moon, destroying everything - but the only thing he cares about is who kidnapped his daughter. Avasarala is a politician doing political things. And Robbie, marine, was the only survivor who saw the Thing that ripped apart her platoon which kicked off the whole book.
The characters have real people problems: the panic over a lost child, a partner walking out on you, wanting nothing more than to go home to a spouse's loving arms. This aspect helped to balance what could have been overwhelming space - a planet destroyed, pending war, fear of the unknown thing growing on Venus.
I thought the different pov's were nicely balanced and were engaging enough that I wanted to know how the authors were going to pull everything together. There was just enough politics to balance out the "western vigilante" with the human touch to keep any one aspect from becoming too much.
And have I mentioned the ending? No...of course I haven't. To say this was a stunner would be an understatement. Didn't see that one coming at. all.
I must go read the next book...
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