I loved Leviathan Wakes (the first book in the “Expanse” series by James S.A.Corey). It was a good old-fashioned space opera with elements of mind-bending science fiction. It had the most interesting alien life form since Stanislav Lem’s “Solaris”. And it had vomit zombies. But at the same time “Leviathan Wakes” was so male-centric that the journey of its main character (Holden) has never become personal for me..
And then I began reading the second book in the series, “Caliban’s War”. From the start, it was a much faster paced book than “Leviathan wakes”, and it had a very good continuation of the main story arc about the alien life form. Plus, the series progressed in the second book: where the first book’s emphasis was mostly on the space opera elements, the second book moved further and did a very good job at character development arcs. I started to care so much more for Holden as he gained few dimensions in the book 2. The same happened with the other book 1 characters.
Besides this, several new wonderful characters were added. And few of them were female. I loved them all, especially Bobby and Avasarala. I love to see gender stereotypes reversed, and it was great to read about adventures of super-capable space marine Bobby and caustic-mouth string-pulling politician Avasarala.
I liked “Caliban’s War” so much that I would give it 5 stars. To add, the series has a very capable audiobook narrator, Jefferson Mays. He has a pleasant voice and is really good at multi-character work where he subtly changes his voice in every chapter depending on the chapter’s POV .This is particularly welcome in a long series with many characters like Expanse.