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Publisher's Summary

Enter a new frontier.

An empty apartment, a missing family, that's creepy. But this is like finding a military base with no one on it. Fighters and tanks idling on the runway with no drivers. This is bad juju. Something wrong happened here. What you should do is tell everyone to leave.

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds, and the rush to colonize has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Ilus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.

Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home. Innocent scientists are slaughtered as they try to survey a new and alien world. The struggle on Ilus threatens to spread all the way back to Earth.

James Holden and the crew of his one small ship are sent to make peace in the midst of war and sense in the midst of chaos. But the more he looks at it, the more Holden thinks the mission was meant to fail.

And the whispers of a dead man remind him that the great galactic civilization that once stood on this land is gone. And that something killed it.

Please note: The original recording has now been replaced with a new performance by Jefferson Mays. If you own this audiobook, simply re-download it from your library to access the new recording.

©2014 James S.A. Corey (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    5,697
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    2,967
  • 3 Stars
    784
  • 2 Stars
    116
  • 1 Stars
    56

Performance

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    5,099
  • 4 Stars
    1,671
  • 3 Stars
    1,171
  • 2 Stars
    555
  • 1 Stars
    401

Story

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    5,540
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    2,531
  • 3 Stars
    667
  • 2 Stars
    97
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Jefferson Mays is back!

The narration has been re-done by the narrator of the first two books in the series!

43 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Book has been renarrated by Jefferson Mays-Thanks!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Previous narrator made me angry and depressed. Had to switch to reading. New narration by Jefferson Mays made me cry with relief.

Any additional comments?

UPDATE 3/30/2017 --- Yesterday I got an update email from Amazon saying that the audio narration has been updated:

"""Dear Audible Listener, We are contacting you because you have reviewed the title “Cibola Burn” by James S. A. Coery. The original recording has now been replaced with a new performance by Jefferson Mays. If you own this audiobook, simply re-download it from your library to access the new recording."""

I downloaded the new narration and rejoiced in the sweet tones and characterizations we have all come to enjoy from Jefferson Mays. I almost cried. Although I am 2/3 of the way through the book, I am happy to listen to the rest via audio now because of this.

OLD REVIEW CONCERNING PREVIOUS NARRATION:

This review pertains to (mostly) the audio narration which is the worst audio narration I've listened to for any book in my life. I'm about 30% through this book at this point. The first three books have great audio narration and I was really looking forward to listening to this one. Where and why Amazon/Audible decided to hire this brainless and belligerent narrator is beyond me. Firstly, the narrator obviously hadn't listened to the previous narrator's reads of the previous books to provide any sense of continuity. Secondly, this narrator tries to 'act' the characters and does a really poor job. Unfortunately, he reads this book like it is a dime store Western/Romance novel. All the men have western cowboyish accents and all the women are read as either breathy or breathless voices. It is beyond distracting. And, even worse, this new dumb narrator's acting interpretation of Christian Avasarala is a out of breath woman on the verge of hysterics rather than the appropriate biting cynical political genius with an Indian accent. Those characters he deems not of the cowboy or helpless woman type of voice he gives either a super poor australian accent or some mixture of transylvanian/slavic (seriously sounds like a bad Dracula voice for someone with a middle eastern name). Even more unfortunate is that he has decided to provide an American Indian accent to the ghostly character of Miller. WTH!!!

So, if you enjoy cheap western novels and want a book of the expanse series read to you in this way, you will have no problem with this book. If you've listened to the narration from the previous books and expect the same 'feel' of narration, skip it for this one. You'll go stark raving mad. There is hope however, for the subsequent novel narration as it reverts back to the first narrator. From wiki: This narrator's name is Erik Davies (you should be fired) and is only for Cibola Burn and the novellas Gods of Risk and The Churn. All the others are the narrator Jefferson Mays.

Dear Amazon/Audible: If you switch narrators in a series, your quality control (I'm sure you have none) needs to require that the new narrator provide narration continuity. I wish I could get my money back for the audio purchase of this book. Please hire Jefferson Mays to record narration for Cibola Burn, Gods of Risk, and The Churn to replace the TERRIBLE narration of Erik Davies. Erik Davies should only be hired to record narration for awful cheap dime store Western novels. If the authors are reading this and have any pull, ask Amazon/Audible to fix this. You almost lost me as a reader.

As far as the novel goes, it is a slow starter and more boring and world building type of novel than the first three. So go into it with that in mind. Maybe by the end something cool will happen but I'm not there yet.

I got pulled into reading/listening to the novels by watching the TV series. Has been totally worth my time until I encountered this exceptionally poor narration.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Worst of the Series but still alright

The premise is great and the real plot is worth following. Everything else, however, is tough to tolerate, especially the villain. Read it if you love the series, avoid it if you are on the fence.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Book, Finally a Better Narration

My previous review and all of the reviews for this book were erased when the author finally replaced the narrator with Jefferson Mays (probably because of all of the scathing reviews). Mays has narrated all of the previous books and does a very good job. The narrator for this audiobook when it first came out was absolutely horrible.

Having said that, I had slightly mixed feelings about this book. Corey's Expanse books really are science fiction masterpieces, however, this book had a few elements that irritated me.

Holden and the crew are sent to one of the worlds through the newly opened gates. A habitable world is identified by a corporation and plans are made to send a scientific colony expedition. Before the mission can begin, a group of refugees looking to make a better life beat them there and begin their own colonization efforts. Holden is sent as a mediator to negotiate between the newly arrived colonists and the squatters that arrived first (and now want to start exporting their hard-earned resources).
Holden experiences significant opposition from a narcissistic, dictatorial, and unstable contracted security force chief. Realizing that anyone who could possibly oppose him is literally years away, he essentially takes control of the colony.
Holden must negotiate between the two parties, try to mitigate a would-be despot, attempt to understand the proto-molecule technology and systems left behind, and manage an outbreak of a microbe that is blinding people.

Though this was a good book, I found the constant sparring with the security chief bordering on the absurd. Sometimes, Holden's "good guy" morals and attitude get to be a little ridiculous. While the security chief holds people hostage, kills people, and essentially becomes a tyrannical dictator, Holden's response is to talk...
If a lunatic is holding a gun to a child's head, is lethal force not acceptable when there is no other option? If someone is actively trying to kill you and dozens of other people, do you hold back because you are the "better" person and you want them to get a "fair trial" when you get back home in 2 years? NO!
I found myself getting frustrated and literally angry with the author for the absurdity of much of this aspect of the book.
Although his writing is very good and other books in this series are excellent, this one just irked me a little too much than to give the story anything more than 3 stars, though I'm STILL giving a 4 overall...

Narration was excellent as usual from Mays. Good to have him back over the narrator on the previous release.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great sci fyi listen with a touch of western style

Great spi fyi listen with a touch of a western towns folk vs evil mining company feel

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Expanse series is awesome

This series is the best scifi I've listened to in a long time!! Never want it to end

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Zack
  • ARLINGTON, WA, US
  • 03-28-18

New World, But What's Really New?

I didnt really struggle to finish. Mostly because Mayes is just that brilliant. But by the end if the book I couldnt help but feel like the prologue and epilogue were all that was need for the overall progression of the story canon.

Ilus is a new world, and under a microscope, it has a lot of interesting things to offer. But stepping back it loses some of that detail. Mostly it is overshadowed by the same human problems, and the same kind of megalomania which plagued the Behemoth in AG. There is a very hateable antagonist in Murtry, but he feels so much like a reborn Ashford that it carries on like we have delt with the exact same character for two books now.

Incidentally the most interesting stuff in this book happens above the atmosphere on the Roci, or in Holdin's head. Nyomi and Alex get time to shine with some A-Team style "tank flying" which had me on the edge of my seat. Proto-Miller and Holdin continue having their interesting star crossed lovers quarrel which remains endearing and interesting throughout this book still. But that is about it as far as story goes. I give the book 3 death slugs out of 5. But Mayes is still brilliant.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

storyline lacked substance of the other books

again, this narrator KILLED it

the writing however got a little stale... when it finally got to a point where it was almost unbearably dull, a frequently asked question happened. "what if the worst thing possible happened right now?" then it was about 15 chapters of that. Don't get me wrong, in terms of other books I've read/listened to, it was a solid 6/10. and I liked the little nod to old characters in the prologue and epilogue. Hope Bobbie comes back!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent read

Feels like a transition book. They are moving from the solar system and broaden into a larger universe. Hopefully book 5 delves more into the political battles of the inner planents.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

trying really hard to stay into this series...

if there is one thing I appreciate about the expanse is that they choose thoughtful titles for each entry. I really enjoyed Leviathan Wakes. but each successive entry fails to match the first book's heights.

my chief problem with The Expanse is a lack of tension and stakes. by now I know that no matter what happens everything will work out in the end. characters remain largely the same. they each have their narrative arcs but they remain static as personas.

all the edges of this universe are softened and well padded. I wish the authors would trust in their readers more and give us something that would engage real human drama as opposed to a watered down PG13 space Opera that makes all the obvious and safe choices of a Hollywood summer blockbuster.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful