SF/F Read Alongs: Cibola Burn, Part 2

It’s all escalation, all the time this week – there is so much going on I’m honestly not sure where to look hardest or what might be coming next! But whatever follows, I am here for it.

This week, the Read Along is hosted by Sarah at The Illustrated Page as we cover chapters 13 to 27. Spoilers below!


Banner by Sarah at The Illustrated Page


How do you feel about Naomi being taken captive?


On one hand, I’m pretty nervous about this. It’s a development that could potentially reek of Killing Off The Girlfriend To Motivate The Hero, and … I do not want this. Firstly because I would rather see any other plot device than this be used to achieve that goal, and secondly because Naomi is just so awesome that I don’t want to lose her.

On the other, having gotten at least a scene between Naomi and Havelock out of this part of the book, I’m excited for what it could mean if the goal here is NOT to write Naomi out of the story. Like I said, she is awesome, and so far she’s holding her own. I am still fervently hoping we’ll eventually get to see Naomi join the ranks of POV characters. It’s a little frustrating that we’re still not there yet, but I do appreciate what we’ve gotten to see of her so far.


What are your thoughts on our new POV characters: Basia, Elvi, and Havelock?

Basia feels like a character-driven subplot that’s kind of taking a back seat to the others at this point. I’m generally not very bothered by that because I don’t feel like he’s the most interesting character – Elvi definitely fascinates me more, because I suspect she’s in a much better position to effect some change, and as developing characters go I think she’s changed the most, so far. As for Havelock … Last week raised the point that Havelock is easily read as forgettable, and for me he’s definitely the character who’s having the most serious identity issues. I don’t quite agree about his forgettability, if only because I’m holding out for his own development coming at an important point later on. Will he grow a pair and decide he’s on the wrong side, or will he grow a pair and turn out to be that much of an ass at the core, and stay where he is, doing what he’s doing?

… I suspect my choice of phrasing here is pretty telling, regarding what I think of Havelock so far. Heh.


So, do you think we’re going to encounter aliens? The thing that destroyed civilizations? Is there something larger going on than the conflict between the colonists and the corporation?

I think we might just encounter something related to the civilisation-wrecking aliens, yes. I don’t think we’re at the point yet where we’ll meet those guys; they seem too ‘big’ to be thrown at us just yet. And I think there’s much more going on here than just this boots-on-the-ground conflict, yes. I think that conflict will allow more information about the bigger fight to be discovered, though, and I’m hooked enough on this story in all of its aspects that I’m happy to be taken along for that ride.


Speaking of the conflict, what actions do you think Holden can take to resolve it?

Put a gun in Amos’s hand, put him in a room alone with Murtry and tune out for a little while.

Seriously, somebody needs to be shooting that psychopath already. I want it to be Amos but really, I’d settle for taking him out of the equation by any means. He is not good for anybody or anything, and he just flat out gives me the creeps. Please remove him and let the sensible adults find a safer solution.

… That’s not going to happen, is it.


3 thoughts on “SF/F Read Alongs: Cibola Burn, Part 2

  1. Naomi is only so-so for me. She had like 2 great scenes in the last book but wasn’t doing much else for the majority of that book. I think the authors are underutilizing her too and spending too much time on her relationship with Holden when all I want is more of Naomi being awesome.

    I agree with you about Murtry… and I suspect you’re right that he isn’t going to die anytime soon.

  2. I must admit, it never crossed my mind that Naomi wouldn’t survive this encounter. I mean, it did for a second, but I immediately dismissed it as a likelihood. That’s probably foolish – Corey has been willing to kill off major characters before – and it would absolutely make sense in terms of the current situation, but… I don’t believe it’s going to happen. Ahem. Perhaps that should be I don’t WANT it to happen. If it does, I’ll feel absolutely sucker punched.

  3. Oh gosh, I hadn’t even considered they might kill off Naomi. That’s terrible! I really hope they don’t. She’s one of my favorite characters. I was all annoyed about her being a damsel in distress, but I guess it can get much worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *