REVIEW: Cibola Burn (The Expanse series) by James A. Corey

Cibola Burn - James S.A. Corey

The recently released Cibola Burn is the most recent release in an as of yet unfinished series. It tells the story of a new planet, colonized by squatters and a corporate expedition (RTE) that claims ownership and wants to evict them.


Unfortunately, the downward trend set in motion in the third book, appears to be continuing as far as the plot is concerned. It's all becoming too transparent, the set pieces too obvious.


To begin with, the whole conflict between the squatters and RTE never feels natural. People in charge (especially Murtry), feel like caricatures even though I can tell the authors are trying to make the choices made seem natural. The endgame plot is even worse. It's your typical 'falling ever deeper into the hole' sort of plot line, which fails hard here. The reader knows how things will be resolved eventually long before it actually reaches that point. This means that any additional problems heaped upon our protagonists are superfluous.



The whole 'fusion doesn't work anymore so your ships will eventually burn up' elicited no response at all from me as by this point you already know that Miller is going to resolve it all. So everything in the second part of the book, after the explosions, is completely stripped from excitement as you already know how things will work out.

(show spoiler)



Final verdict

The writing itself remains solid, but I begin to fear the worst with regards to plotting, especially when the big alien thing will finally come around.