Caliban’s War Part II

The read along of Caliban’s War, Book 2 of The Expanse is off and running! I’m a bit late in posting but this is an awesome group that isn’t rigid about such things. Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along. I’m listening to the audiobook, so apologies for any misspellings.

This week, Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More is our host. We’re covering Chapters 13-27, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) So – lots of character development this week, and not necessarily in a good way. What do you think about Amos and Jim’s behaviour?

It’s nice to see that Amos has a soft gooey center for kids even if it is rather tiny and hidden under lots of armor and probably full of hard pebbles. However, he’s not the great thinker of the group, is he? In a twisted way, I like that he enjoys bar fights and can be so casual about violence. It makes him immensely useful.

Jim has gotten lazy. He’s been flying around on the Rocinante with all her big guns and hasn’t had to do much quick thinking and smooth talking to get what he wants lately. It’s made him a little too quick to reach for his gun but I don’t feel he’s off the deep end. I wonder why Naomi is so put off by it as I don’t feel it’s extreme. After all, she’s been Amos’s boss (‘friend’ seems like the wrong word) for years now and he’s quick to violence (tho his discernment of when to dish it out seems to be better than Jim’s right now). I think Jim is many far steps from being Miller.

2) What do you make of Avasarala’s management style? Do you think Bobbie will go the distance?

Ha! She makes me laugh. I wish I had more bosses like her because she’s pretty direct about what she wants and how she wants it and she doesn’t mind if you verbally spar with her as long as you’re useful. I hope Bobbie goes the distance. She managed to get this far which is further than I expected.

3) Okay – we’re halfway – time to place our bets. Who do you think is behind the situation on Ganymede? What do you think they are trying to achieve?

I think the protospore has been modified and this is yet another petri dish to see what it does. As to who is behind it, I’m not sure. Holden seems convinced it’s OPA behind it but I’m not sure. Yes, the only publicly known mess of this alien spore was in OPA hands but there’s all that stuff on Venus (and I bet there’s a way to get a probe to steal a bit of it) and then there’s the corporation that placed the goo on Eros. Perhaps they held back a sample that fell into other hands or is still in the hands of the remnants of that corporation.

I don’t know how these kids tie in. They lack a real immune system unless they get regular meds and I think that lack is the key. If you wanted to see what this alien spore could do to human tissue, probably best to find some human tissue that can’t defend itself (lacks an immune system).

4) Is it dead? Do you think putting it out an airlock was the right decision? (…although if you can think of any better ideas, I’m all ears)

I don’t think they had any other better choices in the moment. If they had another friendly ship nearby, I guess they could put the Roci on autopilot for the nearest uninhabited rock or the sun and evacuate. But they didn’t have a nearby friendly ship and it would be a shame to lose the Roci. I hope it’s dead or they just spread bits of this alien spore all over the space near Ganymede. Can it latch onto other ships or even rocks and survive a drop through burning atmosphere? Perhaps.

Other Tidbits:

We haven’t gotten much of Naomi or Alex this round. Tho Naomi’s ability to control that food riot was pretty awesome…. but then folks get food only a few hours before Ganymede starts falling apart. I hope folks died with full stomachs.

I like Prax’s full name (Praxidike Meng).

Holden’s ability to hire security on the fly was great. Amos using canned chicken to get the info was brutal but efficient. Prax’s use of his gun wasn’t particularly useful. I like Amos’s casual acknowledgement that it was his bad.

And here is the current list of participators:
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Sarah at The Illustrated Page
Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well.

Caliban’s War Part I

The read along of Caliban’s War, Book 2 of The Expanse is off and running! I’m a bit late in posting but this is an awesome group that isn’t rigid about such things. Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along. I’m listening to the audiobook, so apologies for any misspellings.

This week, Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is our host. We’re covering the Prologue through Chapter 12, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1. Holden and crew are back! What do you make of their situation, what they’re up to and how they behave/interact now, compared to how it began?

Ha! They are privateers in a way, even if their main focus is hunting down space pirates. I  love that they work really well together, being very comfortable with each other. Amos is coming along learning to trust Holden, even sharing coffee with him. I did enjoy Holden grumbling about not wanting to deal with pirates until he had some hot caffeine. We haven’t gotten much more about Alex but I hope that will come.

2. We meet some new characters in this book, and 2 out of 3 are women with important roles. What are your first impressions, given the general concern over the roles/lack of women in the first book?

Well, I’m not sure how long Bobby will be around. She seems to be in a very dangerous job and then currently in a dangerous position where some people might find it inconvenient if she talked. I hope she sticks around because she’s awesome both in physicality and in her skills. Then there’s Avasarala – she’s amazing in other ways. I say that the authors definitely made up for their lack of women in Book 1.

3. “No one starts a war unless I say they can.”

In particular, we learn that Chrisjen Avasarala is using the power she has to pull strings and dig for information behind the scenes in UN government, and she appears to want an end to the war. What do you think of her methods – and her motive?

I like that she wants to end the war as quickly and with as few corpses as she can. However I do wonder if it’s the sheer challenge of the endeavor that attracts her to it more than the end goal. Time will tell. I was really looking forward to meeting this character in the books because she appears in Season 1 of the TV series The Expanse. She swears quite a bit more in the book than in the TV series and I love her for that. Sweary and intelligent is a great mix that I seem to always enjoy in characters.

4. We also meet Prax, scientist and starving father desperate to find his daughter. In terms of the bigger political picture (remember Miller and Dresden), how much of an emotional wild card do you think he might be?

This is a bit hard to tell right now. He’s determined but also rather timid. I do like that he’s not giving up easily. While there’s this big picture theme of a father wanting to locate his daughter (Julie Mao’s dad tasking authorities to find his daughter and now Prax searching for May), there’s not really any similarity between Prax and Miller at this point. I think if he trusts Holden, he will take his lead from him and that will minimize any wild card behaviors.

Other Tidbits:

Those mech suits are awesome! I want one.

WTF? What is this monster that was set loose on Ganymede? And why did it eventually explode? Is that natural, kind of like a pustule popping and spreading the protomolecule? Or was it designed to do that? Or was that totally unexpected?

And here is the current list of participators:
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Sarah at The Illustrated Page
Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well.

Caliban’s War – The Schedule

I read Leviathan Wakes (Book 1 of The Expanse series) some years ago and I have watched the first season of The Expanse as well. Now the wonderful folks on the SF/F Read Alongs GoodReads group have put together this group read and we’re into Book 2, Caliban’s War. I know I’m a bit late in sharing the schedule and getting my discussion posts up.

Here is the current schedule:

Week 1: Friday 7th July, Prologue to Chapter 12, hosted at Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Friday 14th July, Chapters 13 to 27, hosted at There’s Always Room For One More
Week 3: Friday 21st July, Chapters 28 to 42, hosted by The Illustrated Page
Week 4: Friday 28th July, Chapters 43 to End

Book Blurb for Caliban’s War:

James S.A. Corey’s best-selling hit Leviathan Wakes earned Hugo and Locus Award nominations. In Caliban’s War, the second chapter of Corey’s Expanse series, a desperate Earth politician works tirelessly to prevent war from reigniting. Meanwhile, upheaval takes root on Venus and Ganymede. And amidst this tumult, James Holden and his crew on the Rocinante are charged with the impossible task of saving humanity from a terrifying fate.

 

As always, folks are welcome to jump in and join us. You don’t have to be a host or a blogger. You can always choose the easy route and tackle the weekly discussion in the comments of the hosting blog. We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well.

Naamah’s Blessing – The Schedule

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Naamah’s Blessing is Book 3 of the third trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. I’ve been saving this book for something special since it is the final book in the Terre D’Ange Cycle. I’m very glad to be reading it for the first time along with this great group of bloggers.

Here is the current schedule:

Week 1: Chapters 1-15, July 24th, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chapters 16-29, July 31st, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 3: Chapters 30-42, Aug 7th, hosted by Books Without Any Pictures
Week 4: Chapters 43-57, August 14th, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 5: Chapters 58-71, August 21st, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 6: Chapters 72-END, August 28th, hosted by Dab of Darkness

And here is the current list of participators:

Alli at Tethyan Books
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

Book Blurb for Naamah’s Blessing:

Returning to Terre d’Ange, Moirin finds the royal family broken. Wracked by unrelenting grief at the loss of his wife, Queen Jehanne, King Daniel is unable to rule. Prince Thierry, leading an expedition to explore the deadly jungles of Terra Nova, is halfway across the world. And three-year-old Desiree is a vision of her mother: tempestuous, intelligent, and fiery, but desperately lonely and a vulnerable pawn in a game of shifting political allegiances. As tensions mount, King Daniel asks that Moirin become Desirée’s oath-sworn protector. Navigating the intricate political landscape of the Court proves a difficult challenge, and when dire news arrives from overseas, the spirit of Queen Jehanne visits Moirin in a dream and bids her undertake an impossible quest. Another specter from the past also haunts Moirin. Travelling with Thierry in the New World is Raphael de Mereliot, her manipulative former lover. Years ago, Raphael forced her to help him summon fallen angels in the hopes of acquiring mystical gifts and knowledge. It was a disastrous effort that nearly killed them, and Moirin must finally bear the costs of those bitter mistakes.

 

As always, folks are welcome to jump in and join us. You don’t have to be a host or a blogger. You can always choose the easy route and tackle the weekly discussion in the comments of the hosting blog. We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with NAAMAH’S BLESSING in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).