“Cibola Burn” Review

The book cover has a green background with a large ship taking up much of the cover from top to bottom it appears to be hitting the atmosphere of a planet with dust clouds coming from the bottom. There is a smaller round ship or shuttle to the bottom left that has sparks coming from the back end of it. The top half of the book has the author's name with the title below. Full Title: “Cibola Burn: The Expanse No. 4”
Written by James S.A. Corey
Published by Orbit Books, June 2014
592 pages
Completed May 19, 2024

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds and the rush to colonize has begun. Settlers are looking for a new life stream out from humanity’s home planets. Ilus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.

Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home. Innocent scientists are slaughtered as they try to survey a new and alien world. The struggle on Ilus threatens to spread all the way back to Earth.

James Holden and the crew of his one small ship are sent to make peace in the midst of war and sense in the midst of chaos. But the more he looks at it, the more Holden thinks the mission was meant to fail.

And the whispers of a dead man remind him that the great galactic civilization that once stood on this land is gone. And that something killed it.

I really enjoyed this book – more than the previous one. The conflict was a bit annoying but made sense given everything that was going on. Holden and the crew did the best they could with the difficult situation they were in. I also enjoyed reading the sections for the three other point of view characters. A lot more than the previous book even though one was a little frustrating. I also really liked that we got to see more of the technology from the previous inhabitants of the universe. Without spoiling it the planet has a lot more going on than it seems at the start. I really liked the way it ended and how everything is resolved. The situation on the planet also has consequences for how everything will play out regarding the future of Earth, Mars and the Belt – a thousand new worlds of potential means a lot of changes in store.