Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn

Book - 2014
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With settlers streaming into new worlds on thousands of recently-discovered habitable planets, Holden and his crew must keep the peace between the land grabbers and the company that technically owns the planets.
Publisher: New York : Orbit, 2014
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780316217620
Branch Call Number: Science Fiction F COR


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Jan 17, 2019

I love this series, but this fourth novel was just not up to snuff. My brothers warned me they disliked the fourth installment, but I tried to read it with an open mind (we have different taste in many things, and I hate being prejudiced against a book as much as I hate being hyped by others toward liking a book). But by the time the story ended, I had to agree with them.

Although the writing is James S.A. Corey's typical style, and it builds on the story that came previously, this one noticeably lacks the murky grey morality inherent to the previous stories in the series.

The villain is de-humanized, acts petty but is called a sociopath by the 'good guys', and we're never even given a glimpse of his inner motivations. The heroes only ever act out of the best interest of the weakest ones. The redemption arc characters don't contemplate their own motivations or actions until the very end of the story, which accomplishes nothing. And since this story is set in a frontier, that frames the whole thing as a spaghetti Western. And you know, given my love of Westworld and Firefly (and Louis L'Amour), I have a high bar for Western-esque stories.

To be honest, I could have skipped the entire story and just read the Epilogue to get everything I needed regarding the larger story arcs of the series. Except that I wouldn't, because I still adore Amos.

Sep 28, 2017

Book 4 in the Expanse series delivers!

At the end of book 3, a new frontier opened for humanity. Appropriately, Book 4 feels like a western, an adventure on the utmost fringes of civilization.

Cibola Burn feels more intimate, as it deals less with inter-planetary conflict and more with inter-personal struggles on a barely-hospitable frontier. As such, the novel soars, given that the authors excel at conflict and character development.

True to its sci-fi nature, the effects of their frontier struggle eventually reach out to all civilization, galaxy-wide. The interplay of the intimate to the interstellar is simply fascinating.

mvkramer Oct 03, 2016

After three top-notch volumes, this was something of a disappointment. Pace dragged, characters were not as well-drawn as usual and some mind-boggling, boneheaded decisions were made by all. Hope volume five improves.

Sep 09, 2016

Fairly decent sci fi read considering it's late in a series.

Jun 10, 2016

No. 8 in "The Expanse" series

Mar 09, 2016

Impressive continuation of the story line. I would have appreciated a bit more fleshing out of the alien artifacts. The series started out as something very new and imaginative, with descriptives that really brought home the truly "alien" nature of the protomolecule. Now the tale seems to be falling into the "space opera" gestalt that so many have wandered down before. NOT to say that it is a poor story. It only seems a bit weaker than the earlier books in comparison. I loved the short dialogs of "the investigator", sprinkled throughout the book. There is certainly conflict, mostly barely constrained, which keeps the tension high and the pages turning into the wee hours. I enjoyed the analysis of consequences at the end, which sets up the next book. Definitely a must read for Expanse fans.

Sep 10, 2014

A good action yarn with the witty repartee and at least some of the breathtaking imagination of its predecessors, but I found the denouement disappointingly flat and tidy. Might be that the series is starting to run out of steam, or that the writing partnership now has to take the upcoming TV series' budget and scripting needs into consideration when plotting out new installments. Still, I'll read "Expanse 5", hopefully it'll get things back on track.

Sep 01, 2014

A welcome return to what Corey does best after the (still very interesting) detour of GATE: a complex cast of characters, featuring many of our old favorites; a strong focus on James Holden and his crew; and a close look at how the small details of a situation can have a universe-wide impact.


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