It’s important to look at the sunny side of life. While I work in a city with an awful commute, I also have the chance to listen to a bunch of audiobooks. Right now I’m working through James S.A. Corey’s series The Expanse. Book one was recently reviewed on this very site, and book two is reviewed here. (For the record, Jefferson Mays’ reading of the books is fun. He does better with the Belter accents than I ever could in my own head.)
Whereas book one in the series, Leviathan Wakes, is part horror and part mystery, Caliban’s Wake is mostly political drama and action. The book still centers around Holden and his outlaw(ish) crew. Holden, affectionately dubbed Space Jon Snow by redditors, continues to shoulder the burden of righteous leadership in a broodingly handsome way. The pressures get to him, and his ambivalence trickles down to his crew. Also featuring prominently in the book are a young Martian marine called Bobbie Draper and a UN politician called Chrisjen Avasarala. These two are left, in very different ways, trying to make sense of the fallout of the events of the first book.
While the first book was a fun sci-fi mystery, this book gives the reader more time understanding how a major event impacts the average person. Some of the quieter scenes reminded me of the road scenes in the Song of Ice and Fire series in which the reader is reminded that many aren’t privy to the machinations of power and would rather just be left alone than deal with other peoples’ issues.
If you liked the first book, keep going! If you didn’t like the first book, I recommend playing the video game Stardew Valley, which is relaxing and fun. Or, drink some hot tea with friends!