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Havelock reports to Murtry that he's converted their light shuttle into, for all intents and purposes, a fusion bomb, flyable only by him or Murtry. Murtry also wants Havelock to train the scientists to form a militia.
Later, Captain Marwick tells Havelock that what happens on the ground could have major consequences for him and his ship when they go back through the Ring with the OPA on the other side.
The Roci picks up something large moving on the surface during the energy spikes; Holden, Elvi, Fayez, and Wei hop in a cart and check it out. They find a large, insect-like being that Holden recognizes as one of the security drones from the Ring Station that was so adept at killing things. It is consuming the grasses and fungus on the ground to repair itself. Holden says they need to retreat as soon as possible, but Wei opens fire on it, and kills it; they burn it to make sure it doesn't resurrect.
Basia goes to another OPA meeting, and their new plan is to take out all of the security forces and Holden, in an effort to make it economically inviable to occupy them. Basia doesn't want any part of it and leaves. At home, he tells his wife he's going to talk to Holden about it; she tells him that their daughter is leaving on a shuttle now to go to University and he runs to stop her.
When he gets to the shuttle, he realizes she'll be much happier and safer if she goes, so he simply gives her a proper goodbye. He tracks down Holden and warns him about what's going to happen; Holden isn't all that surprised, but says it's irrelevant because they're all leaving the planet anyway, in lieu of the waking alien technology. Holden gets Murtry and Chiwewe together and tells them they're all leaving, but neither agrees to his plan.
Holden ultimately has to threaten to shoot Murtry, but Murtry gets a call from his team, revealing that they all knew about the uprising because he's bugged the entire town, and he already has his people in position. He orders his strike team to attack; they kill everyone inside a nearby house that Murtry dubbed a "terrorist cell". Murtry orders Basia be taken as a prisoner for conspiring with the terrorist, but Holden declares custody of him on behalf of the UN, saying he will be kept as a prisoner on the Roci.
In addition to the energy spikes, there have been twenty heat upwellings on the planet. The Roci lands and picks up Basia. Naomi gives him free reign of the ship; she doesn't see him as a prisoner since he saved the captain's life. She and Alex have noticed that the RCE has turned its second shuttle into a bomb. They could shoot it with a gauss round, but Naomi opts for the non-violent route and EVAs over to attach a remote cut-off on the engine.
While doing EVA training exercises, someone on Havelock's squad notices Naomi welding on the shuttle. They thrust over to her and she flees, but they use their grapnels to ensnare her; they throw her in the brig.
Holden gets a visit from Miller; Miller admits that the protomolecule has been activating the alien robots on the surface, but also that there's a big empty spot in the global network and he needs Holden to check it out; it may be a remnant of the thing that killed the Investigator 's creators. Holden says he'll check it out as soon as they free Naomi. Up in the sky, one of the moons melts. Elvi goes to warn Holden about it, and also tells him that she thinks they've only encountered the alien organisms on the planet so far that are trying to wake up from hibernation and failing, but it's usually only a small percentage of organisms that fail when awaking, and there are probably plenty more that won't fail.
While in the field, Elvi analyses a butterfly-like animal; it turns out that it's not an animal at all, but another sort of alien machine. Basia's wife, Lucia, the town doctor, asks Elvi to stop by. In her office, she has a boy whose eye has turned green; she thinks it's possibly the organisms that live in the clouds, feeding off the moisture. She tells Lucia she'll talk to her people and Holden, and hopefully they can find a cure.
Over the center of Ilus' largest island, on the opposite side of the planet from First Landing, an enormous eruption occurs, creating tidal waves hundreds of feet high, flattening half the planet, and lighting up the dark side of the planet like a second sun has appeared.
The shockwave will soon spread to the other side of the planet. Alex calls Holden and warns him that he's got about 6 hours before the shockwaves hit, which is too soon to bring the Roci down for evacuation or for them to take the RCE shuttle off the planet.
They decide the best course of action is to get everyone into the alien ruins. The storm front hits for 16 long hours. Afterwards, there's nothing left outside but mud, no remnants showing that humans were ever even there.
Slimy slugs begin emerging from the ground; someone touches one and immediately dies. Everyone chips in to block all the access points of the ruins from the invasion of the toxic slugs, hanging sheets of plastic on the windows, digging trenches, etc.
Holden tells Murtry they need to get everyone off the planet, and he actually agrees, though he plans on coming back later. Havelock tries to send supplies down in one of the light shuttles, but the planetary defense system comes online and shoots the shuttle down, seemingly from some sort of cannon on one of the moons. The aliens also have some sort of dampening field that stops nuclear fusion from occurring, so all the ships' reactors go offline, forcing them to run on battery power only.
Without their drives, the ships' orbits all begin to decay. Miller suggests that maybe airdrops of supplies are probably innocuous enough that the defense grid won't take them out, so Havelock begins dropping supplies that way, successfully. To make matters even worse on Ilus, the organisms that lived in the clouds infect everyone via the rain, and they all start going blind, except Holden.
Elvi and the other scientists desperately try to find a cure, and eventually Elvi realizes that Holden's anti-cancer meds are what's stopping the parasites from blinding him. Murtry tells Havelock to get his ad hoc assault team together to stop the invaders using extreme prejudice.
Havelock doesn't want things to escalate any more than they already have, and since Naomi is possibly be the best engineer to solve the fusion situation, he springs her from the brig. He takes out a few of his own team along the way with tasers and non-lethal rounds, and eventually they find Basia. They manage to get out an airlock and make it to the Roci intact. Holden gets into a scrap with Murtry, but doesn't kill him. Elvi tells Holden his anti-cancer meds are fixing the blindness, and that they should all be able to see within hours, maybe days.
After a quick nap, he finally agrees to help Miller and joins him on the material transfer system. Basia goes EVA again and attaches tethers to the Barbapiccola so the Roci can tow her to a more stable orbit.
They manage to boost it quite a ways when the Israel launches their shuttle-turned-torpedo at the Roci. Alex fires the PDCs and shreds the shuttle, but the shrapnel penetrates the Rocinante's hull, cutting multiple small holes through it, and injuring Havelock's arm.
Naomi and Baz patch up all the holes, but the maneuvering thrusters on one side are all shot; Alex informs them that they're going to lose the Barb and there's nothing they can do about it. They plan to evacuate some of the crew of the Barb to the Roci, but ultimately decide to try using the railgun as a thruster. All goes according to plan and they again briefly stop the Barb's orbit from decaying; however, the Israel launches their security team EVA toward the Roci.
On Ilus, Murtry and Wei take off in the one working cart after Holden. Amos and Elvi get the other cart working and, along with Elvi's new boyfriend, Fayez, follow in their tracks. Holden passes out for about 20 hours, and when he wakes up, Miller tells him they'll have to go the rest of the way on foot. Miller takes control of one of the giant alien maintenance mechanisms and uses them to cut the door off the transit car, clearing the wreckage blocking the track. Holden climbs on its back and rides it to their destination.
They reach the processing station and Miller explains that the whole planet contains materials rare in the galaxy; it is basically an interstellar gas station. One of the missiles finds its mark; it does only superficial damage to the Roci, but knocks Havelock off the ship and hurls shrapnel into his leg. Baz goes out and retrieves him using a grapnel. The attackers from the Israel launch some missiles at the Barb and knock it off course, also irreparably damaging the tether to the Roci.
Baz heads towards the Barb and Havelock covers him. Elvi and Amos eventually come to the enormous alien structure where Holden's at; they find Murtry's cart abandoned, the engine burned up. Inside the structure, Wei tells them they're not authorized to go any further; Amos shoots and kills her, Murtry shoots Amos in the back multiple times, but it doesn't penetrate his armor, though he does blow off some of his fingers. Amos shoots Murtry in the chest, but his armor saves him.
Fayez tells Murtry this is his fault, that Amos was trying to save everyone, and punches Murtry on the nose. Elvi runs to find Holden as Murtry shoots Fayez. While Havelock fires at the impending attackers, attempting to only disable their EVA packs instead of killing them, the chief engineer in charge of the militia continues to goad and insult Havelock and the crew of the Roci. Baz then comes up with the idea of attaching multiple inflatable airdocks together to get the people from the Barb to the Roci.
The captain of the Israel agrees to give some spares so everyone on the Barb will be able to be saved before the ship breaks up in the atmosphere. The chief engineer starts yelling at the Israel's captain, saying he will use lethal force to prevent any aid being given to the "enemy".
Suddenly, the chief's complaints are cut off mid-sentence and Alex admits to shooting him with the rail gun, saying he had the shot and sheepishly asking if he is in trouble. Using tethers, they successfully get all the portable docks onto the Israel; a short while later, the Barbapiccola explodes in the atmosphere.
Basia is overcome with grief when he realizes the people on the Israel, the ones saving his people, were the ones he killed when he bombed the RCE shuttle. Elvi runs through the complex and practically stumbles right into Holden and that hulking insect-like machine with him. She warns him about Murtry and tells him she thinks Amos is dead. It's a powder keg ready to explode and the fact that there are strange organisms and artefacts of The Builders the creators of the protomolecule on the planet doesn't really help.
Not to mention that there is something strange about the planet itself, which "Miller" wants to investigate and bugs Holden about. I very much enjoyed the investigation as I, as a reader, was trying to figure out more about The Builders as well. Thus, getting a glimpse into what absorbed Miller and how it worked was fascinating and, yes, alien. It was also very rewarding because it was almost poetical.
One prominent theme in this book was the age old "us vs them". The thing is: I didn't like any of the factions. Elvi was annoyingly naive. I get that you want to explore, also to make the colony safe, but you can't put your head in the sands.
Then, we had the trigger-finger-happy security team, also sent by the corporation that was like Rumpelstiltskin to put it in Thomas Jane's words from another movie: The third group was the Belters that had settled there before the corporation arrived. I more than understand the need and desire to find a new place to live, especially after what's been going on in Sol and especially for the Belters.
However, that does NOT view spoiler [give you the right to do what these people did. They killed dozens of people hide spoiler ]! Thus, view spoiler [I won't make any allowances for Basia's behaviour in the beginning.
The only reason he didn't kill anyone himself is that he was too stupid to load a round into the chamber of that gun.
But he did pull the trigger, meaning he was willing to take a life. I understand that he was scared and desperate because of his family but hide spoiler ] HOW you do something is as important as WHY and people need to own up to their actions.
Therefore, the term view spoiler ["terrorists" definitely applied and despite me despising the security chief and agreeing that he lost his marbles probably long before the ring opened Sol up to the universe , I respect that he refused to let any more of his people be killed.
Well, except for the fact that he killed one of his own just to trap Amos. Which is probably why I laughed my butt off about his situation in the end. I can just picture him getting eaten for breakfast by my beloved Avasarala. D hide spoiler ] Fucking ironic, also, that the engineers are later doing exactly what Basia and his "friends" were doing at the beginning. How's your own bitter pill tasting, Basia? The sad part is, I work with engineers so I can totally picture that scenario. Last but not least, we have Holden and his crew who are in an impossible situation.
Nevertheless, view spoiler [Naomi deserved to be arrested after getting caught and hide spoiler ] I disliked the mentality that they should be getting everything they want in the beginning, I'm not talking about saving lives later just because of who they are. As you can see, I understand most motivations but there was a certain whining about all of them.
They all needed to grow up and I wanted to slap most of them. You can see why Avasarala is my favourite person in this series apart from Bobby? The highlight, for me, definitely was the exploration of an alien world.
After all, that is what scifi is all about for me. My favourite quote from this book: Doctor Who reference?! The question is: This was just the first of over a thousand new planets and I don't want to return to Sol yet. View all 5 comments. Jul 03, Mr. Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: Just when I thought I was getting tired of the Expanse Cibola Burn takes humanity through the mysterious gates built by the protomolecule, to a thousand habitable worlds.
The new worlds promise a rebirth for humanity. No more population controls, no more crowded, polluted planets, no more scraping a subsistence living in an air pocket on a planetoid. A thousand Edens await; however, as Detective Miller reminds us, you gotta watch the doors and corners. Just because humanity made it to a new Eden, it doesn't mean that we left humanity behind. On New Terra, the very first post-solar colony, two factions are squaring off: The refugees are jealous and protective of their rights as squatters.
When as act of terrorist vandalism accidentally kills hundreds, real trouble ensues. Murtry, the driven security chief of RCE, finds himself the nominal head of the RCE faction and he will be damned if he allows this group of squatters to trample on the UN Charter.
Through all of this I kinda thought we were tapping a dry well. The book was interesting, moved along at a decent clip, but kinda, well, dull. Not much was happening.
And then everything started happening. Detective Miller was back as an incarnation of the protomolecule, probing, exploring, investigating. Where did the beings that created the gates go? What happened to them?
His investigations actually awake the planet's defense mechanisms. Suddenly we have life or death struggle both in space and on the planet. Not only is the RCE fighting the colonists, but the planet itself is striking against humanity. In a very cool twist, life as we know it on Earth and New Terra are incompatible. And why shouldn't they be?
Evolution took a very different direction on each planet. A small, microscopic organism discovers that humans make the perfect hosts and multiply like mad in their eyes, blinding everyone All of this finally comes to a head in an alien structure where we finally catch a glimpse of what it was that destroyed the protomolecule's civilization.
Four stars. The book started off slow - too slow for my tastes - but ended with a gripping tension. These books continue to entertain. Each has a mystery that more or less drives the entire series. With each book, more is revealed of the mystery. Very cool, although I am starting to wonder where exactly the entire series is going.
I feel like I am just getting to the real punch. What will happen when humanity finally bumps into whatever it was that killed off the protomolecule's creators? How will that resolve?
Nov 02, Algernon Darth Anyan rated it it was amazing Shelves: If the first one was a mix of hard-boiled detective investigation and zombie apocalypse in space, the second was mostly about open warfare between the main three factions in the future Solar System The Earth, Mars and the Outer Planets alliance , the third a homage to Arthur C Clarke Rama novels, the best way I can find to characterize the latest is "cowboys and aliens", with the main recurring character, Jim Holden, cast in the role of sheriff and sent to the Wild West to settle disputes between the homesteaders and the rich claim jumpers who try to evict them.
Let's see how the analogy works: He is an idealist who believes in justice for all and is ready to fight with any windmills in his quest to build a better world singlehandedly. Governments, armies, powerful corporations are all legitimate targets in his book see previous incidents - the Wild West is the first planet colonized by humans after the discovery earlier in the series of a wormhole who gives them access across light years to far away habitable worlds.
Called Ilus by the first colonists, and New Terra by the industrialists who bought a charter to its natural resources, the new planet has its own alien ecosystem that may be hostile to humans. Instead of gold, they mine lithium, a very expensive and sought after metal for the future economies. To give legitimacy to their claim, they include a team of scientists with their expedition, sent to analyze and preserve the biosystem of the new world. They might be the same ones who built the A.
In true Western fashion, the novel opens with a bloody showdown betwen the homesteaders and the newcomers, and Holden is thrown in the middle to mediate between them "Sometimes I get the sense that the universe is out to get you.
It's fun to watch" quips one of his shipmates. Instead of calming down, the situation escalates, with part of the ground conflict being mirrored in orbit above the planet in the three-way duel between Rocinante, the settlers and the scientific expedition's spaceships. There is enough good stuff in here to satisfy any action junkie, and to justify the recent interest to make the whole Expanse series into a television blockbuster, but the main selling point for me remains the strong characterization and the smart way in which the scientific stuff is incorporated into the blockbuster structure of the novel.
Because the series is planned as independent sequences that can be read out of order and are self-sufficient, it means that with every new story the reader must get familiarized with new faces and with a short recap of previous events. Cibola introduces two main actors and a couple of very interesting secondary characters as support to the already established crew of the Rocinante.
The stand-out among them are Elvi, an exobiologist with the scientific expedition, and Havelock, a private security officer torn between loyalty to his deranged superior officer and his personal integrity and sense of fair play. Dimitri Havelock had worked security contracts for eight different corporations over thirteen years.
He'd been in the Belt, on Earth, Mars, and Luna. He'd done long haul work on supply ships heading from Ganymede to Earth. He'd dealt with everything from riots to intimate violence, to drug traficking, to one idiot who'd had a thing for stealing people's socks.
He hadn't seen everything, but he'd seen a lot. Enough to know he'd probably never see 'everything'. And enough to recognize that how he reacted to a crisis was more about the people on his team than with the crisis itself.
This remark about the human interest in a crisis can be easily extended to the whole novel, and to the series as a whole. When the going gets tough, they will show their true colours, as individuals and as members of their communities.
Judging by the human factor, the fourth book is the most accomplished and better written of the first four. Let us not forget though that the humans have their puny gun battles against the background of an alien planet, an environment that cannot be explored adequately and made hospitable in the very short interval since the first landing.
Elvi is the one most qualified to guide us through the landscape, and I admired her enthusiasm and her fortitude in the face of the unknown, "The age of adventure had come again" she exclaims at the start of her journey from Earth to the other side of the galaxy, a point I would interpret also as a return to the golden age of Science-Fiction and all the imaginary planets that dominated the genre at that time: Most of Earth was covered in cities or managed nature preserves about as untamed as a service dog.
Mars and the Belt were studded with colonies that had been built and designed to carve a human place in inhuman and lifeless circumstances. This, she realized, was the first place she'd been in her life where she could see true wilderness the way it had been for millenia on Earth.
Red in tooth and claw. Deadly and uncaring. Vastly unpredictable, and complex as anything she could imagine. I will not say much about the ending, other than that I read through the last pages in a rush, completely absorbed, and that the final scenes, as with previous books in the series, leave the door wide open for unpredictable and galaxy spawning developments in the next one.
To close my western analogy, I have two quotes that bracket the action in the novel. At the start Holden observes that The frontier always outpaces the law. At the end of the book, another character points out that It's good to recall that wherever people start, whatever they bring with them, humanity can still pull together in heavy weather. In other words, Cibola Burn is a dark and grim story, very fashionable, but one that still holds a glimmer of hope for the future of the human race.
Feb 19, James Trevino rated it really liked it. If I think of this as a stand alone sci-fi book it would probably get a 5 star rating. But this is part of The Expanse series and so far it is the weakest of them all. That should tell you how much I love this series.
Ciobola Burn is slower than the previous volumes and, just like them, it introduces a some new POVs next to the ones of the Roccinante crew. The problem here is that the new POVs all fail to some extent. Basia, Elvi and Havelock are interesting characters but they don't come out goo If I think of this as a stand alone sci-fi book it would probably get a 5 star rating.
Basia, Elvi and Havelock are interesting characters but they don't come out good when they follow in the footsteps of Avasarala or Bobbie. And I still hope we get more of those two in the next few books.
Especially Avasarala. But back to Ciobola Burn, it explores the first alien planet settled after the ring station made over solar systems accesible to humanity. The new world is interesting but it can't compensate for the lackluster new characters. Thankfully, the second part of the book picks up and the Miller-Holden banter is so good it keeps you glued to the page. I feel like I am giving this a lot of bad press, even if I flew through it. Finished it in 2 days.
On to the next one now. As a final thought: I can't recommend it enough. Executive Summary: This one felt very different from the rest of the series to me. Whether or not that is a good thing will largely depend on the reader I suspect.
Audio book: Erik Davies is OK. Originally I was pretty indifferent about the narrator change for this book. I was never particularly attached to Jefferson Mays. I had sort of of hoped that as this was the first book released in hardcover maybe the change was due to them getting a better reader. Turns out that wasn't the case. For the m Executive Summary: Mays, just different.
However Mr. Mays at least did a few accents and Mr. Davies seemed to only have a Russian accent and spoke with no accent for Avasarala, which just seemed to really annoy me. Full Review This is a hard review for me to write. I spent a good portion of it annoyed at the book. I've always been more of a Star Trek fan than dystopian sci-fi fan. When it comes to Space Opera, I like politics and war at a higher level.
Large factions feuding over planets and ideals. For me the first three books really sort of fell more into this. This book however felt much lower level. The politics of the first three books serve as the basis for things. There has always been discrimination between the belters and the inner planets, but never has it been so central to the conflict as in this book. That may appeal to some reasons, for me it mostly made me uncomfortable and mad.
Not at the book or the authors, but the characters. As seems to be par for the course, we get a bunch of brand new POV characters this go around, save for James Holden. Two of them are minor characters from previous novels. This is rounded out by an Elvi, a human scientist. I still wish they'd bring back Bobbie and Avasarala thankfully there looks to be potential for this in book 5.
I loved them so much that everyone else seem to disappoint me. I felt Anna in Abaddon's Gate was already a step down, but still likeable. Elvi was another step in the wrong direction for me as well. So you have a bunch of characters you don't really like in what to me felts like a side story for most of the book. They do stupid and hateful things to one another. I know the types of people portrayed in this book exist in the world. Maybe they once existed in greater numbers. The whole thing just made no sense to me.
I was especially bothered that many of the Engineers were the worst. Most of the engineers I know are very logical and well thought out in their actions. Sure there are exceptions to that, but this seemed to flip that on their head. I despised Murtry, head of the Earther's security and all around asshole. I'm pretty sure that was the point. The problem was I didn't feel like I had anything to root for. I spent most of the book wishing Holden and his crew would just leave and go do something else that was related to the protomolecule and the developments from Abaddon's Gate.
Overall this book seemed to focus on the worse things that humanity is capable of. Discrimination and pointless violence. Spending way too much time and energy trying to kill one another when there are far larger problems to worry about. Despite this, I ended up enjoying the book.
I found it hard to turn off when it was time to stop listening. Eventually I did find myself liking Havelock and Basia more though. Elvi still felt like she was there to serve at a 4th "camera" most of the time. She was important to the plot, but I just never grew attached to her I guess. I enjoyed the final quarter of the book a lot more than the first three. We eventually get some development of things with the protomolecule, though not as much as I would have preferred.
With the announcement of 3 more books, I worry things will be drawn out too much. Time will tell what happens. View all 17 comments. I love this series — the plot, the characters, the humor, the world building… all of it. I was excited for this one in particular because when I first started The Expanse a couple of years ago I thought it was only going to be a trilogy. Cibola Burn and Nemesis Games felt like bonus books.
As always, this Expanse book had an excellent mix of familiar and new POV characters — an element that has always kept these novels fresh and exciting for me. Of al I love this series — the plot, the characters, the humor, the world building… all of it.
As a result, all of the progression the solar system makes feels natural and unforced. Human ambition never goes beyond what is technologically possible, and I love that consistency. Not to mention that it was still wildly interesting even without fast expansion.
The broadness of the concept particularly involving the protomolecule and its origins always makes me feel so immersed these books. Overall, Cibola Burn was a great continuation of the story the next book, Nemesis Games, was even better! Review to come…. Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.
Is this a new thing you do now? As per the other novels, the narration is shared by Holden on one side, the constant, and a new set of characters on the other. I love it that certain secondary protagonists do keep appearing since this reinforces the world-building.
I also really appreciated how Corey doesn't j 4. I also really appreciated how Corey doesn't just give us 'good' against 'bad', but in fact the whole grey spectrum with characters that do learn from their mistakes, and some of course who don't.
There is a 'true' baddie with no shading but somehow it does work because he is the hero of His story aren't they all , with his logic and all. And to give us a tether in this world, we have the crew of the Rocinante. This instalment mostly takes place on one planet - a kind of classic space colonisation story - with the socio-political aspect taking precedence over the rest.
It is fascinating in one way but also so frustrating and scary to see how humans can go against each other so easily, pushed by prejudices and raw survival, and end up doing stupid things Apr 28, Robyn rated it really liked it Shelves: I found the challenges of the planet, the scientists rushing around to save things, Holden's interactions with the protomolecule, the idea of a new frontier, etc all absolutely fascinating and lots of fun.
But I didn't like the moustache-twirling evil villain I found him unbelievable or the lack of female viewpoints in this. Elvi is a great character but also problematic. Man oh man, though, I am looking forward to the next one! A new book in this exciting space opera means a new crisis for Holden and his crew to face. The gates to hundreds of new worlds have been flung open and mankind — not having actually earned this discovery through any effort of its own — is eager to charge through the door, taking all of its ingrained prejudices with it.
We have the chance to create a new society, with untold riches beyond every gate. But this world has treasure, so instead of figuring o A new book in this exciting space opera means a new crisis for Holden and his crew to face.
A ship full of refugees from the disaster at Ganymede, having been turned away from several ports, have decided to take their chances by going through the gates early and settling on a habitable planet on the other side. So, when a ship bearing the science team, and carrying the legal charter naming the planet and its resources as the property of Royal Charter Energy RCE , arrives, it sets up a classic us versus them scenario. His goal? To serve as official mediator in an already tense situation.
Whether or not this common threat unifies or further divides the two sides of the conflict provides an interesting and, at times, disheartening examination of human nature. Took it off the grid, and killed everything high enough up the food chain to have an opinion. Readers will have met these two before, one in the first book in the series and the other one in the second book.
They make for interesting choices and following their paths through the story added a sense of familiarity to the otherwise alien landscape in which the story is set. The series remains as much a character driven story as it ever has been.
There is insight into every angle of the conflict, neither side wholly right nor wholly wrong. No one lived forever. But you fought for every minute you could get. Bought a little more with a lot of hard work. A departure in their method of storytelling. It's nice to see that the authors aren't one trick ponies. In some ways this might be the strongest entry in the expanse yet. In other ways, it isn't quite as strong. I have a hard time placing my finger on why exactly, but it's not my favorite.
I suspect that it will be a favorite for many though. It's wickedly fun, and a solid entry in a terrific series. Now the waiting for 'Nemesis Games' begins. View all 3 comments.
I hate all of the POV characters. The plot has no depth or nuance. Everything escalates to violence at the drop of a hat, making the story boring and predictable. I hope the TV series improve on the books because there's so much potential. Turns out that I lemmed the book right before it got good and interesting. I stick by some of my previous assertions escalating to violence quickly, POV characters aren't great but the story did find some urgency and complexity.
Cibola Burn is the first book in the series to leave the Sol system. Almost the whole book takes place on New Terra, an Earth-like planet that takes 18 months to get to. There's a brimming conflict between the colonists there and Royal Charter Energy. RCE claims they have rights to the planet but the colonists disagree. Things go bad quickly see: The world of the Expanse is my favorite thing about these books.
I have various issues with the characters and story choices but I've always loved the universe that James S. Corey created. It feels tangible and realistic which can be difficult for sci-fi. Things like Belter mannerisms and speech and how space travel works makes it feel plausible. It's a testament to the setting that I keep reading these books despite my issues with the main characters see below.
My main issue with this series is the point-of-view characters. The only consistent POV character is Holden and as some of you know, I don't like him although CB actually managed to make me kind of warm up to him. This is the 4th book in the series and I'm aching to get into the Roci crews' heads.
Thankfully Nemesis Games remedies this. My favorite of those is Havelock. He's Miller's partner in the first novel so it's nice to have someone a little familiar as a POV character.
He starts out blindly following orders to growing a conscious and a backbone. I liked his evolving relationship with Naomi which fueled his character growth. I'm pretty ambivalent about Basia.
I hated Elvi for most of the book which in contrast made me like Holden more. She has this weird love-at-first-sight crush on Holden that never made any sense and it often undercut her ability as a scientist. Spoiler for late in the book: At all. Another aspect of the ongoing story I am not thrilled by: Naomi and Holden's relationship. It feels forced and they don't have any chemistry. Thankfully, there's only one scene of them together in this book.
It never felt natural to me and it doesn't add anything to the plot. After a rough start I ended up liking this book. It's not my favorite in the series but the epilogue set up the rest of the series quite well. I'm looking forward to Nemesis Games. Whilst not the best in the series for me, there are new themes addressed here with a slight shift from the previous novels. The layout is the same, 4 different POV's with only Holden been the link from the last ones excluding prologue and epilogue but a slight change being that this one starts off quite intense as supposed to the others which are slow builders.
I liked the pacing of this novel, w 7. I liked the pacing of this novel, when you seem to know where the plot is going to go there is a shift and then something else rains down on the characters and changes the pace. I enjoyed 3 of the 4 POV, for me Elvi was just another weak female lead character.
From two of the best female characters in the second book the series really hasn't replicated that high level since. Elvi just fan girls for Holden for the majority of this book and then just does some sciencey bits later on. Meh, not bothered. She's more suited to a trashy romance novel. The other three are exciting though so can't complain too much I suppose.
I couldn't rate this higher even though I enjoyed it as it took me a while to get through and there seemed to be a few lags and a massive lack of information at the end but maybe I took my eye off the prize looking to complete things.
All things said though I did enjoy the majority of the book and annoyances aside I'm quite geared up for the next outing especially after the epilogue. Feb 28, Olivia rated it liked it Shelves: I'm a bit disappointed that the authors keep introducing new characters, just after I finally got attached to the new characters introduced in the previous books.
I miss Avasarala, is all I'm really saying. Cibola Burn feels like the weakest book so far. The strength of this series is the crew and here they're mostly separated from each other.
I must admit, I was a bit bored this time around. The characters came across as passive, mostly just swept around by the plot. The antagonist feels very ge I'm a bit disappointed that the authors keep introducing new characters, just after I finally got attached to the new characters introduced in the previous books. The antagonist feels very generic and one dimensional. Basically he's evil just because he's evil. And Elvi All in all, I hope the next book is better, because I do love the whole aspect of exploring new planets and expanding into the galaxy.
Apr 13, Sanaa rated it liked it. It's a lot of the same from before which is why this doesn't get as high of a rating as the others.
It's good, very good, but not as exciting as the previous books or as ingenious. Sep 12, Mpauli rated it it was ok Shelves: That book is rather difficult to judge and I thought long and hard about it.
It has 4 star moments, like the scenes with the recurring cast, the interludes and the epilogue that hints towards the return of some beloved characters from the second book. Unfortunately the rest of the book lost me completely. A year has passed after the events of the last book and humans start to colonize new planets. And already on the first planet we have issues between the Belter settlers and a UN research company That book is rather difficult to judge and I thought long and hard about it.
And already on the first planet we have issues between the Belter settlers and a UN research company that wants to experiment on the planet. Holden and his crew are sent there to negotiate. All in all we get 3 new povs next to Holden.
Bassia, who's a Belter settler that gets involved with the resistance against the UN company. Havelock, a crew member of the UN company's space ship parked in the orbit of the planet. And Elvie, who's a doctor of micro-biology and part of the research team. Unfortunately none of the characters connected with me and I wasn't invested in any of their personal stories.
There sole purpose seemed to be to get eyes up to every crew-member of the Rocinante. I actually have no clue why the authors refuse to give us the povs of Alex, Naomi or Amos. Instead they create highly constructed situations to pair up the new characters with them.
Regarding theme and plot we also get almost the same morale as we already got in Abaddon's Gate. No matter where humans go, they will always have different interest and they will always end up fighting each other. The setting and the players are different, but the morale stays the same and only rehashes book 3. So, what we're left with are still likeable characters from the Rocinante, a tiny bit of overall development and a lot of filler material. It's like seeing a forgetable episode of a good tv show.