Cibola Burn

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Cibola Burn
Cibola Burn.jpg
AuthorJames S. A. Corey
Cover artistDaniel Dociu
CountryUnited States
SeriesThe Expanse
GenreScience fiction
PublishedJune 17, 2014
PublisherOrbit Books
Media typePrint
Preceded byAbaddon's Gate 
Followed byNemesis Games 

Cibola Burn is a 2014 science fiction novel by James S. A. Corey (pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) and the fourth book in The Expanse series.[1] It follows the crew of the Rocinante as they join the flood of humanity out into the galaxy, using the gates built by the ancient civilization that also produced the protomolecule.

At the release of Cibola Burn, Orbit Books announced that James S. A. Corey would write 3 additional books in the series (adding to 2 that were already planned) to bring the series to 9 novels and various short stories.[2]


Through the action in previous books, humanity now has access to thousands of worlds across the galaxy, connected through a gate within our solar system. The United Nations has started the process of methodically cataloging and investigating the new planets, but some people are desperate and don’t have the time to wait.

Major character arcs[edit]

Basia Merton is one of the refugees from Ganymede refused safe harbor in the solar system. His ship pushed through the gate to be the first to settle a new planet. Called Ilus by the inhabitants, they found a rich vein of lithium that could provide a valuable trading commodity with other systems. The United Nations sends a scientific party to the planet with a legal charter to the land. This drives Basia to actions he never thought he would do, and it seems like he has a never-ending set of decisions between bad choices, while he’s only trying to do what he thinks is best for his family.

Elvi Okoye is a scientist on the team sent by the United Nations. Her original task was to try and survey the planet in a pristine state but events make that impossible. Later, she tries to gain insight into the incredible things happening on the planet that make it seem like the most hospitable biosphere found away from Earth may kill them all.

Dmitri Havelock was Miller’s partner on Ceres and is now deputy security chief for the UN mission to New Terra. Remaining aboard the ship that brought him while the security chief relocates to the surface, he becomes increasingly concerned about the actions of his supervisor. Later, the fortunate capture of a prisoner from the Rocinante sets a chain of events into motion with long-term repercussions for humanity.

James Holden Sensing trouble brewing on Ilus/New Terra, Chrisjen Avasarala sees the need for someone perceived as unbiased to negotiate and report on events there and chooses Jim Holden. After making the journey, the crew tries their best to balance colonial claims, government priority and the awakening creatures on the planet within a crisis greater all their earlier concerns.

Miller is still trying to figure out his role within the alien construct, while maintaining his connection with Holden. Eventual clues come together allowing him to shut down the alien machinery and potentially save everyone.


Publishers Weekly gave Cibola Burn a starred review and called it "splendid".[3]


Cibola Burn serves as the basis for the fourth season of the television series The Expanse, which is expected to be released by Amazon Video in late 2019.


  1. ^ "Cover Reveals! CIBOLA BURN by James S.A. Corey and THE WIDOW'S HOUSE by Daniel Abraham, by John DeNardo". 5 September 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Cibola Burn is available now and a big announcement!" June 17th, 2014 Retrieved March 09 2015
  3. ^ "Cibola Burn: The Expanse, Book Four". 7 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.

External links[edit]