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.
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?