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Caliban's War

The Expanse, Book 2
Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
Series: The Expanse, Book 2
Length: 21 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (774 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For someone who didn't intend to wreck the solar system's fragile balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it. While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. The outer planets and the Belt are uncertain in their new - possibly temporary - autonomy. 

Then, on one of Jupiter's moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers of Earth and Mars indiscriminately and reigniting the war. The race is on to discover whether this is the vanguard of an alien army or if the danger lies closer to home.

©2012 Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This breakneck tale will have readers itching for book three." (Publishers Weekly)

"Great characters, excellent dialogue, memorable fights, freakish experiments, and twisty-turny mysteries... Only an excellent book series can pull them all off, and the Expanse will definitely be added to the shortlist of science fiction tales that manage to do so" (Wired.com)

"Those who enjoyed the first book will enjoy Caliban's War as much, if not more... A crackingly enjoyable read." (SFF World)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another awesome story

The high intensity of the story continues. Perfect vocal acting and it grips you into the story. A must listen for the Expanse fans!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great sci-fi at its best

After watching the first two seasons of The Expanse on Netflix I started to listen to the audiobooks and they are way better. Always nice to have a mental image of the characters though.

This book diverts quite a lot from season two but it's not that shooting. Not sure if I should go on and watch the third season though or just settle for Audible.

Story is great and I love how it develops and I will continue to listen to her next book straight away!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic and pretty much "realistic" book

I really loved this book. It's the closest way to be in space for any of us mortal beings. It's easy to listen or read no doubt.
I highly recommend this book and also really appreciate the quality of the narrator.

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A breathtaking sci-fi

I love the way the story is told - the different strings made of the fabric of vivid dreams slowly tangling and coming together at the end of each book. Developing, loveable, very human-like characters - and the way the narrator is making them come alive - with each accent, each way of speaking giving an other layer to them, just adds to the experience. Loved it every bit as much as the first one.

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The series makes you want more

loved it. more.... I'll keep reading next, then next, then next. the narrator is one the best. thank you.

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more interested in the expanse than ever before

very well done.
the interpretation is majestic.
I am going to buy the next one.

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Great book

Really intense and funny. I watched the first two seasons of the expanse and although this includes like half the season it kind of puts things in a better order than the series as much as it feels more natural in its character development. Love the difference in the characters and how interesting human relationships are even on different planets. No real connection to the first book it was a great sequel and standalone, the ending however ... well I’ll leave that to you and hope you enjoy it.

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A must for any science fiction enthusiast

Get sucked into this realistic, yet amazing world set in the not do distant future. Humanity is splitting into factions across the solar system, a great but terrible discovery leads to the brink of war for all of them. We follow select characters who manage to get in the middle of it. It's tense, charming and fun. The characters Are memorable and distinct. A realistic approach to spaceflight, physics and generally every aspect og human settlement of space is weaved perfectly into human interactions. Fantastic!

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Sci-fi done right

Book two was full of twists and turns, just as the first book, Leviathan Wakes, was. Full of twists and turns that keep you reading(or listening) forever. While structured similarly to the first book it did not feel stale or lazy. If you enjoy reading about space apocalypses and daring renegades saving the day. You will get that and more from this book.

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Nice overall.

Good job by the reader. Good story plagued by a couple of conspicuous inconsistencies, such as making a narrative point of a spacecraft having an airlock at one point, and then a new narrative point of it lacking airlocks at another.

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  • Stephen Amos
  • 08-18-15

Excellent sequel to Leviathan Wakes

Excellent second entry in the Expanse series following the discovery of an Alien Proto-Molecule in our Solar System and the effects it has on individuals, on politics and on the military.
Many of the original characters are back alone with a few new ones. I especially liked the potty-mouthed Politician and Granny Avasarala.
Very well read by Jefferson Mays, I’m really looking forward to the third book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • jbmee
  • 07-07-16

Solid, Science Based and Fantastic

If you like solid sciences based SF with a good storyline, well developed and interesting characters and some really thought provoking elements, then this is for you! I loved it. Well performed, a great but human story. Very enjoyable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • RJB1
  • 04-17-15

A Great Sequel to the Space Opera

Any additional comments?

The Authors have not disappointed in this sequel, which could be better than the first installment.

It is the same narrator as Leviathan Wakes and he continues to do a good job in making each character recognisable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Morris
  • 07-11-15

Superb Second Act

As soon as I had finished reading Leviathan Wakes there was no question that
I just had to get the follow-up, Caliban's War. Leviathan Wakes left me
hungry for more and this second instalment in James S.A Corey's Expanse
series delivers in spades.

Caliban's War picks up some 18 months after the end of events in the
previous book where Holden and crew are now working to rid space of pirates. In
the meantime tensions between Mars and Earth are at an all time high it
seems despite the efforts to bring Mars, Earth and the belt closer together
to face the looming and unknown Venus proto molecule situation.

Three new key characters are brought into this story; A botanist, a high
ranking politician and a tough female Martian marine, Roberta Draper. All
these new characters are very different and interesting and Corey has
written them superbly. In particular, the tough no nonsense foul mouthed and
direct politician in the form of a diminutive Indian woman is written with
great intelligence, wit, sagacity and humour. At first she appears rather
too abrasive to be likable but it soon becomes apparent that if all
politicians were like her that we'd have a much better society I think. By
the end of this book I liked her a great deal and would like to see more
from her character in a future instalment to this series.

Prax, the botanist, is looking for his kidnapped daughter who has been taken by the group experimenting with the proto molecule with the aim of using the child along with others in their hideous plans. Prax elicits the
help of Holden and crew to this task and this story element provides the main driver to the narrative. Prax has all the vulnerability and desperation
of a father who has lost his child under the most dangerous of circumstances
and of course, the proto molecule threat is yet again manifested by an
experimental soldier that our Martian marine heroine gets involved in a fire
fight with. It seems fairly obvious to me that the Draper character is
basically modelled on the famous Ripley strong female lead in the Alien
series of movies and in this story it's the Ripley seen in the second of
those films, "Aliens". There's even a scene where Draper is brought along to
a high level bureaucratic meeting and has an outburst of disbelief when no
one is even talking about "The Monster". Very reminiscent of Ripley's
outburst to similar board-types in "Aliens".

As this is the second act of the Expanse series the pace is noticeably quicker than the previous book. With the Draper character and the proto molecule soldiers it reminds me of "The Thing" meets "Alien" but that sufficiently different which keeps the story engaging and fresh. This was a real page turner for me or should I say in the audio form a real hard to stop listening book. Corey's writing skills have already improved since Leviathan Wakes with more elegant and flowing prose which makes this book basically as perfect as one might ever hope to find. Corey has already proved with Caliban's War that he can stand toe to toe with the giants in this genre.

The only thing I haven't figured out yet is who is Caliban as I don't recall such a name being mentioned in the book. Oh well, perhaps I missed something subtle but that doesn't matter at all. As with books that form a series, Caliban's War leaves us with a tantalizing cliff hanger at the end and serves to wet the appetite of the hungry reader for the next instalment of this excellent and enthralling saga.

Great sci-fi and a superb read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 05-13-15

Great story well read

Epic space opera, narrator does a great job. I look forward to the next installments.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. E. Parkes
  • 02-20-16

A brilliant follow on from the first book

Caliban's War is a brilliant next book in the Expanse series.

It introduces a brilliant new ensemble of characters and some that fans of the TV series know a little already.

Chrisjen Avarsarala is great fun and swears like a sailor.

This book gives you a wider range of viewpoints than Leviathan Wakes and I couldn't stop listening. The epilogue has me hungry to see what plot twists are ahead.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Smudger444
  • 01-17-16

Real SiFi

This continues to be a really good story. and very well narrated. you get into the characters feelings without being constantly reminded of the fact. very well done.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 07-01-15

Brilliant!

Any additional comments?

A brilliant story, excellent characters and the narration is spot on! Definitely getting the full series!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 06-20-18

Long, engrossing and rewarding

Absolutely loved this book. Thought the first in the series was good but this was better. Incredibly well narrated and fantastic characters and story!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-18

Sublime, well written sci-fi

Sublime, well written sci-fi. This is well worth your time. Don't miss out on a great series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rick
  • 02-09-17

More of everything

Loved the first book? You'll love this one too. New mission for Jim Holden and his crew that ties into the overall storyline of the series. New and interesting characters and more information about the backgrounds of existing characters. Has some hard science and some magic (because humans don't understand the protomolecule's abilities it seems like magic). You could complain about the stupidity of some of the villains but I let that slide. Voice performance was excellent. Jefferson Mays can do different voices without relying on out of place accents (unless it's warrented). My audible credit arrived just in time for me to get the third book in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-19

Just wow!

I fell in love with the tv series when I discovered it on iTunes and was so excited when I realised the books were available on audible. It didn’t matter that I had some character visuals from the show, mostly they were pretty good. I’m just so glad I could listen to it from the start again and relive it knowing there is more to come!
This book and the awesome characters have kept me company for many sleepless nights and beach walks.
The narrator is one of the very best I have ever heard and I usually prefer British narrators. His voice was soothing in the early hours and subtle with the characters, yet distinct enough to bring them to life in their unique ways.
I felt completely drawn into this epic story, such a wonderful escape into a whole new universe, so vivid the settings and the characters, their struggles, relationships and the humour all just in reach of reality. Absolutely brilliant, I want to savour what is yet to come...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • glenn urquhart
  • 01-23-16

Good stuff again.

It's developing really well, this series.
Expanding on first book in a really cool direction. Don't want to give anything away, but if you enjoyed first book, you'll love this even more.
Narrator is great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • kris
  • 03-04-15

Great 2nd book

I loved the first book in the expanse series, and the second book didn't disappoint! I loved the way the story switches between different characters for each chapter. Keeps everything interesting! Must read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick Latham
  • 07-15-19

Amazing. simply amazing

the story comes to life with Jeffersons narration. it had me submitting my family to the book during a recent road trip

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  • Adam Bush
  • 05-20-19

A really good story.

You've just got to love a really well written space saga. This book has compelling characters, a rich universe and an awesome complication. I highly recommend a listen or read.

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  • Kate Louise Webster
  • 05-19-19

Book 2 better than the first

I am really enjoying where this story is headineg and how the characters are developing. I might just have track down the TV series too

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  • paul
  • 01-17-19

96% perfect

As good as book one - A++ - slightly dropping to a straight 'A' in the last part of the story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-18

Thrilling, beautifully performed sci-fi.

A brilliant mix of high stakes drama, sci-fi thrills, and philosophical lyricism. Features an eclectic mix of genius-level, educated characters - all trying to do their best against impossible, uncompromising forces, while searching for meaning in the vastness of space.

A beautiful performance that captures the voices of the characters. And somehow fits in perfectly with the depictions on the tv show.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-18

Loved it!

Excellent action-packed sci-fi. Excellent narration. Avilsarila was particularly done well. I would have never encapsulated her so vividly in my own internal dialogue.