Caliban’s War is the second Expanse novel, following last year’s much-lauded Leviathan Wakes. In my post on Leviathan Wakes, I mentioned that James S.A. Corey is actually two people, a pseudonym for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. They also share a blog called Lizard Brain, which is where I learned that there is also an Expanse novella available (ebook only), titled Gods of Risk.
The third in the series, Abaddon’s Gate, is slated for May 2013. James S.A. Corey is (are?) currently contracted for six Expanse books. The intention is for each trilogy to be satisfying on its own.
Back to the subject at hand — for a sample of Caliban’s War, head on over to Orbit.
Adult/High School–A year after the events of Leviathan Wakes, the protomolecule is at it again, this time mutating children into supersoldiers. And once again, Captain Jim Holden is accidentally sucked into saving the world by the hunt for a lost child. But if the set-up is somewhat similar, this sequel is anything but a retread. By killing off Det. Miller, the more interesting of the two main characters of Leviathan Wakes, Corey has shifted the philosophical balance of his story toward Holden. At first, it seems that Corey has nothing to replace Miller but the ill-advised decision to have Holden struggle against his “inner Miller” throughout the novel. But fortunately, Corey has more resources at his command than perhaps he is aware of. New additions to the cast like Martian Marine Bobbie, U.N. Undersecretary Avasarala, and Ganymedian botanist Prax all add tremendous weight both in terms of character and varying philosophies to hold together the increasingly sprawling story. Moreover, whereas the first novel was practically a mystery set in space, here the realities of space travel take over: interplanetary politics, and incredibly interesting accounts of the vagaries of living on different planets make a surprisingly strong contender against rip-roaring space battles for the most exciting elements of a very exciting story.–Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA