I am a terrible hobbyist. You’ve likely met one of those old curmudgeons who never shuts up about this or that not being the same as it once was. I am that guy, pretty gleefully. I am a science-fiction fan without a doubt, but my enjoyment of it tends to lean towards books well older than myself. I tend to sit on my porch and scream for those other books to get off my lawn. The Expanse, the series of which Caliban’s War is the second book, is the delinquent child of my neighborhood whom I cannot seem to rid myself of.
Caliban’s War picks up some time after the events of Leviathan Wakes, the previous book in the series. The plot of this book can be described as simply being standard intrigue; there are governments, corporations, and other actors tied up in various actions while fighting a situation that seems like a ticking time bomb. I’m not sure if that last sentence actually describes Caliban’s War, or many other books I have read in my life.
George R.R. Martin also needs to get off my lawn. That isn’t a random aside: James S.A Corey is somehow related to Martin, and there does seem to be a influence in their work. It might be the way each chapter is headed by a character’s name, in case you were confused as to whose perspective this slice of narative was coming from. As well, the ‘vomit zombiesi’ of the Expanse Series have something White Walker-esque to them. One of the character’s story arc was made so abundantly obvious that I felt practically bludgeoned by it.
I’ve already lined up the next one in the series for my reading list. Do I hate myself? Marginally. But more importantly this is the amount of suffering you owe your hobby if you intend to take it seriously. The largest part of it is justifying your place in your hobby’s discourse community (how can you call yourself a science-fiction fan if all the books you read are by authors dead before you were born?). Another part is that reading widely makes you an increasingly better critic.
i I’ll confess right here that it was the exact moment that I first read the words ‘vomit zombies’ that I stopped taking this who series seriously. I just couldn’t after that.