Book: The Expanse: Caliban’s War
Where do you go after destroying Eros and infesting Venus with an alien protomolecule? Kidnapping children and alien-protomolecule hybrids, that’s where! I had already watched the second season of the show while I was reading this but finished it before 3 season was released. This was a great book and brings it all to a new level.
The crew of the Roci is back dealing the same old issues of flying an illegally acquired military vessel and working for the OPA. But new things arise when the agricultural colony on Ganymede goes haywire. Much of this set up is somewhat cliched but much of it explores the realities of living so far out in space. There are some really horrific moments and many have very little to do with the new proto-molecule threat.
What I love about these books is the realism not only on the scientific side but also the social side. The divisions within society are far beyond just regional. Belters can never return to Earth and it is no longer their home. Gravity is as deadly to them as the radiation is to people in general. The tensions between Earth and Mars can be easily seen. Imagine those of us who see the UN as more of a threat to our freedom than anything else moving to another world. While they simplify the culture as a mixture of Texan and east Asia, I think it would be more South East US. Either way, it is cool to me.
The book also explore a very modern concept in “crowd funding” and social media in the future. I loved that even in space, people can hear you bring liked. And disliked too. As we find out as the UN starts to get involved. What’s next, UN politicians using network data of individuals to sway elections? Wait, do they even have elections in the UN?
The new characters are interesting. While I like Bobby the Martian Marine, Prax has his ups and downs. I related to his fatherly passion, but his moments of “woah is me” can get old. At first, I thought his contributions would be limited but his role as “science officer” aboard really began to blossom later in the book.
This was a very enjoyable book. I highly recommend it.