Caliban's War

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Caliban's War
Calibans War.jpg
Author James S. A. Corey
Cover artist Daniel Dociu
Country United States
Language English
Series The Expanse
Genre Science fiction
Published June 26, 2012
Publisher Orbit Books
Media type Print
Pages 595
ISBN 978-1-84149-990-1
Preceded by Leviathan Wakes
Followed by Abaddon's Gate

Caliban's War is a 2012 science fiction novel by James S. A. Corey (pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). It is about a conflict in the solar system that involves Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt (colonies of people living on asteroids, referred to as "Belters"). It is the second book in The Expanse series and is preceded by Leviathan Wakes. The third book, Abaddon's Gate, was released on June 4,[1] 2013.[2]


Eighteen months after the events of Leviathan Wakes, the solar system is in a precarious balance while they watch unknowable events unfold on the planet Venus. Earth and Mars are still poised for battle, and someone didn't recognize the warning that the Eros Incident held for humanity.


James Holden is the captain of the salvaged Martian warship Rocinante. He and his crew have worked for the Outer Planets Alliance for 18 months since what’s become known as the Eros Incident, and the job just doesn’t feel right. While assisting a botanist in the search for his daughter, Holden comes across signs that the people are still trying to tame the protomolecule, and the threat comes very close to home. Breaking his OPA ties, he becomes an ever-more-important piece in the four-way chess game for who will run the solar system.

Chrisjen Avasarala is a high-ranking UN official who knows how to get things done. Plugged in to all sources of information, she’s simultaneously monitoring events on Earth, Mars, Ganymede and Venus, though the last one is the toughest to predict what will happen next. Seeing shifts coming but not able to completely grasp what they mean, she accepts a post that takes her away from the action knowing she is playing her expected part until it is time to do the unexpected. Then, she meets James Holden for the first time aboard his ship, trying to diffuse a solar-sytem-wide war.

Bobbie Draper is a Martian Marine stationed on Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s largest moons and known as the breadbasket of the outer planets. After she witnesses the brutal defeat and destruction of military forces on both sides of a conflict by a third party, she is taken to Earth to participate in peace talks, but doesn’t follow the party line and gets in trouble with her leaders. Now helping Chrisjen Avasarala, she must quickly adapt to interplanetary politics and office intrigue. Later moving her duties to space, her military training comes in handy once again.

Praxidike Meng is a botanist working on Ganymede when tensions erupt. His daughter is lost in the chaos, and he finds information that she was actually taken from her daycare before the action. He tries to find her in the decaying conditions of his home, but latches on to James Holden as a source of hope. Eventually becoming the face of the crisis at Ganymede, his efforts to find his daughter’s abductors have interstellar ramifications.


Critical reception for Caliban's War was predominantly positive,[3][4] with Kirkus Reviews noting that the book could be enjoyed as a standalone novel but was "best appreciated after volume one".[5]'s Geek Dad and Publishers Weekly both praised the novel, with GeekDad citing the book's "believable human personalities and technology that is easily recognizable" as a highlight.[6][7] gave an overall positive review for Caliban's War, but noted that there was "some rather tiresome dialogue in the cards, as well as an overabundance of laughably transparent politics, and a couple of at best cartoonishly characterised bad guys".[8]


  1. ^ Alexander, Niall (28 May 2013). "The Expanding Expanse: Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey". Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Wright, Eddie. "Interview: James S.A. Corey Talks 'Caliban's War'". MTV Geek. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Review: Caliban’s War". School Library Journal. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Russell Letson review James S.A. Corey". Locus Online. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Review: Caliban's War". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Review: Caliban's War". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Kelly, James. "The Expanse, Book 2: Caliban’s War Review". Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Popcorn Space Opera: Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey". Retrieved 21 October 2012. 

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