Caliban's War

James S. A. Corey
Caliban's War Cover

Caliban's War


Caliban's War expands on the narrative of Levithan Wakes ending with a major cliff hanger into Abaddon's Gate. In CW the frequent factional comparisons have been largely dropped in favour of large scale political developments. This is a welcome improvement over LW and was the major reason I upped my rating for this title.

In CW the two person narrative stream from LW has been expanded to four individual stories (albeit it quickly becomes two sets of two). Holden remains my favourite persona although he is obviously marginalized in CW I enjoyed the freshness of the other three narratives as well.

This was an enjoyable read but in no way challenging. I would hazard the comment that the writing and plot is improved over LW in general and the authors seem to have taken a more professional approach here. CW was another fast burn (6-7 hours) with the plot built for pace like the Autobahn.

Speaking of which plot is enthralling but don't expect much new out of Venus. Well, that's not entirely true... Still it would have been nice to have a bit more alien technology throughout rather than just more space zombies.If you liked all the details from LW on being in a crash couch and doing high-g burns and the finer point on micro-g manoeuvring you will be happy to know that these elements return in spades. On a plus I can report that the macro plot is largely original, so this is not at all like rereading LW.

I found the characters to be much better and fuller developed through the novel. However, there are some pretty glossy major character developments in to of the main characters specifically. Other than our heroes nobody really moves (unless they are going to get hurt).

For most of the novel the enemy is known but hidden, once their plan has been hatched they do not really deviate in a way that really meaningfully affects (or at least is not obvious to) the main characters. Of course this does change in a moment when it needs to and ultimately there is a resolution for the end of the story. I got the faint sense at times that the storyline was sort of rigid, and as a result I wasn't expecting any major deviations or even sub-plots (of which there weren't). Nothing mind bending here. Again I left CW with the feeling that I had just read a rather thick lead into the next iteration of the series AG.

Ultimately I rated this epic novel a 4/5 which is good considering the general lack of mind bending plot elements and reliance on space zombies to the general exclusion of alien technology. This is the action flick of SciFI reading.The world is complete and believable I am looking forward to reading AG.