The Expanse Read-along: Caliban’s War – Week 3

Banner: glimpse of a space station in orbit - text reads Caliban's War Read Along

Tensions boil over as Avasarala finds herself bundled off to Ganymede on a luxurious space yacht and Jim confronts Fred about the protomolecule. As alliances finally become clear, it’s starting to be obvious who their friends really are – but can even friends be trusted?

For those new to the Read-along – we are working our way through The Expanse from beginning to end, reading about a quarter of each book per week and blogging weekly in response to a host’s prompts. Expect enthusiasm and/or ranting – it’s fun, and if you fancy joining in, the schedule is at the bottom of this post – grab a copy and read along (you don’t have to keep to the time table). This week our host is Sarah of The Illustrated Page.

Be warned – if you keep reading, There Will Be Spoilers.


1. So a lot happened this week! What do you make of all the POV characters meeting up? Do you think there will be any new additions to the crew of the Rocinante?

On the one hand, I’m happy because I think they make an interesting combination of characters; on the other, I can’t help but remember a comment I think Lisa made last week about formula. Book 3 needs to feel very different – the formula is fun, but it will eventually wear thin if there’s not a bit more variation…

Bobbie would fit in pretty well, but I would be more interested in seeing Avasarala meet – even team up with? – Fred. Now there’s an interesting combination of characters! But I don’t think she’ll be crew. She has too many reasons to go home (unless of course the UN declare her some sort of defector; it would make me terribly sad if she didn’t get to see Arjun again, and there has been enough made of their entirely stable relationship to suspect it is in the firing line).


2. Holden has had some self realizations. Do you think he’ll really change his ways? And how does it tie into the new decisions for the Rocinante?

I think the most interesting thing is Amos holding him to account after Holden properly forms them up as a company.

Don’t we vote on things like this now?

Amos, who acknowledges he has no moral compass and has in the past looked to Holden to provide one. I trust the crew to confront Holden every step of the way now he’s said they can. And with that mirror, I think he can get himself back in a sensible place.

…and I don’t think Holden would have taken these steps if Naomi hadn’t held him to account first. But it was about time he grew up a bit (emotionally), and I do admire that he’s taken himself in hand enough to begin doing so.


3. What do you think they’ll find on Io?

We-ell, if the whole formula thing holds true, it’ll be a pretty immoral science base with some horrific experiments on the go. However, this time they aren’t rocking up with well-armed back-up – so what they do when they get there remains to be seen! Obviously Prax will want to sneak in – so rather than an invasion, I predict either much skulking… or something outrageously bold, like Avasarala marching up to the front door and claiming to be on official business…


4. Apparently, the UN was involved after all, and now Avasarala’s been out manoeuvred! But Bobbie thinks she has a plan to save their skins. Any ideas what her big revelation was? And do you think they’ll succeed? 

I… have absolutely no idea what Bobbie is about to come out with. I am on the very edge of my seat with anticipation (and now we come to it, neither sneaking into a base nor bluffing your way in sound like Bobbie’s areas of expertise. She’s way too tall for sneaking).


Other thoughts for the week…

Well I see why Julie Mao hated her parents. Ugh.

Also, I adored Holden’s solution to (his and) Prax’s finances: crowd-sourcing! ❤


Take a tour of our responses this week:

  • Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
  • Sarah at The Illustrated Page
  • Susan at Dab of Darkness
  • Feel free to join in in the comments on our blogs or on Goodreads – but no spoilers!


A round-up of the weekly discussions for Book 1: