SF/F Read Alongs: Caliban’s War, Part 4

In the fourth and final part of Caliban’s War, teamwork wins the day – but has a rogue element just risked it all?

This week we’re covering chapter 43 onward, with yours truly posing the questions. Spoilers below!



Bobbie’s idea turns out to be sneakier than I expected! Do you think this is a case of brains as well as muscle power, or is she learning a thing from Avasarala?

I like to think it’s both, though I’m more inclined towards the idea that Bobbie came to us as more of a complete package. I love that she’s been given so much emotional depth, and I love that she can use her head when need be. I certainly think she’s smart enough to learn from Avasarala, and I do think her eyes might have been opened by her experience working for her, but in a way her plan is relying on military tactics as well as political maneuvering. They look awfully similar in this scenario, don’t they…?

What I like as much, if not more, than this idea is the one that Avasarala might have learned something from her experiences with Bobbie (and with the Roci crew!)…


The crew split up to take on various missions, all different but all important. Holden, Prax, Bobbie… Which final battle POV sticks with you most, and why?

I think they all had their moments, and they definitely all left an impression on me, but I’m going to go with Prax and Amos finding Mei. I noted in an earlier post that I was worried that Prax’s single-mindedness when it came to Mei would endanger the others, or leave him open to the idea of letting them hang to save her. I am so glad this wasn’t the case! Prax absolutely cares most strongly about his daughter, and this is as it should be (thank goodness she turned out to be all right!), but he still relies on Amos to be his backup and keep his head in the game, as it were. The moment when he decides revenge is unnecessary as soon as he has his little girl back really stuck with me – as did Amos doing the dirty work to make sure something like that wouldn’t happen again. I think this scene told us a lot about the kind of people both Prax and Amos are, and for all that there might be a moral question mark hanging over Amos, I can’t argue with how he handled Strickland (I know that’s not his name but I forgot what it really was…).


“What’s that?” What indeed. What do you make of whatever the heck just lifted off from Venus, and where do you think it’s going?

SPACESHIP CTHULHU. I know that’s mixing some very weird mythologies, but first impressions are what they are!

I still have no idea what the endgame for this alien life might be, beyond my past musings about its survival – but we seem to have moved some way beyond that, now…

That aside, I do have the rather strong gut feeling that whatever prompted this move, it will not mean good things for the pesky humans who just nuked its babies. Can you say “angry mother”?

I mean, I understand the need to prevent what happened on Ganymede from happening on Mars. That’s well and good, and I’m not saying Fred shouldn’t have stepped in when he had the means to do so. It’s just … This is not going to be good, is it?


Speaking of what was on Venus, let’s discuss THAT ending. When you’re done (presumably) flailing, of course… Thoughts? Reactions? Theories?


OK, so. Miller is, in some way, shape or form, not entirely dead. That’s … good? I think? I mean, the idea of him being folded into some strange alien hive-mind is a bit worrying… But they have a means of actually communicating with this thing now, provided that a) Holden keeps his head, and b) communication is actually the goal here. That last line had ominous written all over it – see above, regarding nuking the babies…

If I have a theory here, it’s that thanks to all of his exposure to the protomolecule and to radiation (it’s kind of a loose theory but bear with me), Holden may possibly have a connection of his own to Mama Venus, and this is why ‘Miller’ chose to appear to him – because he/it could. So I think this is like a strange cross between sending a diplomatic representative, and tuning in to the nearest radio station…

Of course, the question now is whether or not anyone else will be tuned in the way Holden is, and/or believe him when he tells them. Massive doses of radiation are probably not good for the brain…


So, yes. We are not waiting any longer than we must to begin the Read Along for book 3! See you next week…

2 thoughts on “SF/F Read Alongs: Caliban’s War, Part 4

  1. Indeed! I think Avasarala learned from the Roci’s crew as well.

    More than any other character, I believe Amos has really looked at where the line is for him – the things he will not do and the things he will not tolerate in others. Even Holden and Naomi are a bit wishywashy around the edges sometimes. Amos’s hunt for Mei and how he dealt with everything really shows strengths.

    I like your thoughts on Miller – Mama Venus representative trying to tune in the radio.


    I like your idea about Holden as unexpected (and pretty damn unconventional – and unlikely to be acceptable to the UN / Mars / OPA) diplomatic go-between with Venus. That can’t end well, can it?


    Also, AMOS. In retrospect, I’m suddenly surprised he let Strickland off so easily, given the canned chicken incident.

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