Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey – An Audiobook Review

Caliban's War


For someone who didn’t intend to wreck the solar system’s fragile balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it. While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. The outer planets and the Belt are uncertain in their new – possibly temporary – autonomy. 

Then, on one of Jupiter’s moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers of Earth and Mars indiscriminately and reigniting the war. The race is on to discover whether this is the vanguard of an alien army or if the danger lies closer to home.


Author: James S.A Corey

Narrator: Jefferson Mays

Publisher: Hachette Audio UK

Run Time: 21 hrs

Audio Release Date: 12/05/2015

Series: The Expanse (book 2)

My Rating Of ‘Caliban’s War’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UKAudible US



As fantastic and enjoyable as ‘Caliban’s War’ was, it wasn’t the sequel I expected it to be. In ‘Leviathan Wakes’ we had two character POVs and in ‘Caliban’s War’ we have four. This is in no way a problem but I just felt like I was almost reading something entirely different as opposed to a continuance. Most likely due to how different the POVs were and what drastically different aspects of the story they told, whereas in ‘Leviathan Wakes’ Miller and Holden weren’t massively different as say Bobbie and Prax.

But what a story they were telling! From the humble botanist just looking for his kid to the displaced Martian marine trying to make her way in an environment she is far from used to, ‘Caliban’s War’ was filled with excitement and interest from the start. And to steal from the opening line of this paragraph … What a start! Nothing beats a bit of high-octane action against something even The Terminator might flee from.

‘Caliban’s War’ had a very different feel to it than ‘Leviathan Wakes’ which was by no means a bad thing (as is evident by my rating of it). But it didn’t really feel very much like a sequel. It felt more like a story set in the same universe sharing some of the same characters with a whole host of new ones. I get the distinct feel that I would be able to stop reading/listening after any given book and pick up a good while later without losing much, if any, enjoyment. Which is a fantastic thing to have from a series that looks to be going on for nine or so books.

I found myself really enjoying the character development of Prax which, considering he starts off as nothing too interesting, surprised me. So well done to the authors on that one. We are introduced to one of the main characters from The Expanse tv series in Chrisjen Avasarala who is one of the most bad-ass old ladies you’re ever likely to meet. She also has a mouth that could put a dock worker to shame.

The overall plot focuses around half of the characters going on a very public search for Prax’s missing daughter whilst the other half try to avoid all-out war between Earth and Mars. How the authors pull the strings together and merge the plotlines is wonderful and puts this quite highly in my list of favourite sci-fi novels due to the complexity of the plot whilst at the same time having it so easy to follow. 

The entire piece just feels like it has incredible depth of all things essential: world, character and plot. What more could a sci-fi nut need when diving into a good space opera?

24 thoughts on “Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey – An Audiobook Review

  1. So glad you’re enjoying the hell out of the Expanse series! 😀 For me the turning point was Cibola Burn, which was just terrible, and even though the series picked up again later on, my heart just wasn’t in it any longer… As a side note, however, I’m currently reading Lancelot and enjoying it quite a bit 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh! I loved Lancelot! Glad to see you’re enjoying it as well. It’s a really unique take on the old legend. How far in are you?

      I finished Abaddon’s Gate and thought it wasn’t quite as good as the previous two. I’m giving sci-fi a rest for a short while as its all I have been listening to. So I’ll get to Cibola Burn at some point. The premise of it sounds good but it also sounds like something that could easily be done wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After Melwas joined Arthur. I’ll be doing a full review next week, probably.

        Well, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and the Expanse does get tiring. Abadddon’s Gate was ok, but in general after the first installment I wasn’t overly taken with the direction of the series. At some point my interest just petered out and wasn’t revived 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In all honesty it doesn’t feel like a series. So I can see where you are coming from. It feel like a set of stand alone books using 4 regular characters and just being tied together incredibly losely.

        Kristian did a good job of making me hate Melwas from his childhood. Perhaps more than Joffrey from Game of Thrones.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, and not all of the characters are equally engaging or likeable 😉

        Melwas is just a blunt tool. But Mordred – this is a character, or an archetype, that I really hate. Man, I hate his guts! 😠 There’s nothing redeemable in him, a terrible, spiteful, youthful mistake coming back to bite you in the ass. But not to worry, all versions of the Arthurian mythos make me very emotional 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh- I think I need to bump this up my TBR!! This sounds so good. I love the idea of a colonized solar system. I feel like I don’t see that so much. Of course, I don’t read full blow space operas very often either. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d certainly get into this series if I were you 😊 it’s a refreshing one. Nice to see a series that doesn’t just start out with a colonised galaxy.

      I’m taking a break after book 3. Sci-fi burnout.


      1. Ill get to it some where next year. I am hoping BL keep from bringing out more releases on NG so I can narrow down my long list…. My feedback rate has significantly dropped to 69%… I am afraid I might get burnout through fear of delivering reviews before the books come out. But as long as it stays on my kindle I can take my time with it right? Its not like I want to give a half assed review because I felt rushed…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea, dude. Take your time with it. As long as they keep accepting it’s totally their fault haha I know people that request dozens a month and never read half of them.

        They do seem to have slowed their releases a bit.

        What are you reading next?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed this is one of the best – if not THE best – space opera series currently on the shelves (as well as on TV…) and I believe that its continuing evolution, in story and characters, is one of the reasons it’s still going strong after 8 books going on 9…😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t recall a less-than-great book in this series – although I admit I’m quite biased toward it. Maybe the part I liked less was that the Rocinante crew was separated in Cibola Burn and to me they are at their best when they are together 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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