James S.A. Corey’s Cibola Burn Review

Cibola Burn is the 4th book in The Expanse series. It takes place on an alien world called New Terra/Ilus. James Holden tries to maintain piece and compromise between the settlers of the alien world and the RCE employees as they both believe they have claim to the land and its resources.


The Good:

  • If I had to pick something from this book that I liked, I would say that it would have to be the first quarter of the book. That’s where the most action happened. I enjoyed the character of Coop and thought that he would have made a way better villain than Murtry.

The Okay:

  • Honestly, most of the book fits in this category for me. I thought I was really going to enjoy Basia’s story line, which I did, but I think that just the slow burn of the book burned me out on the story overall.
  • James Holden’s chapters. This was a shocker for me, but I think it’s because he spent the entirety of the book away from his crew (other than Amos). The crew dynamic is one of my favorite things in the series.

The Bad:

  • Elvie and Havelock. I’m not really a fan of either one of these characters. Elvie would go on and on in science-speak, which I get it…she’s a scientist, but it wasn’t told in a way to get me invested in it. And for Havelock, half the story is him training some dudes with paintball guns. Wasn’t for me.
  • Murtry. Either deal with him in the first quarter of the book or not at all in my opinion. The whole situation could have been expedited.
  • Holden and Miller. Miller tried to get Holden to take him to the dead spot for the longest time. They don’t go until the very last chapters of the book.

The Final Thought:

  • 4/10
  • I know I complained a lot, but this book made me consider moving on to another series. That’s how much I am not a fan of it. It didn’t have anything that I liked from previous books. At least if the crew were all together I would have those chapters to look forward to, but they were all separated. Glad to be moving on to Nemesis Games.

I’ve read that Cibola Burn is the polarizing book of the series and I could definitely see that. I also read that if you didn’t enjoy this book then you will probably love Nemesis Games, so I’m keeping a positive outlook!

Thanks for reading!

Published by Jacob Fite

My name is Jacob, I'm 30 years old and currently serving in the USAF. Born in Sheridan, Arkansas, USA. I love writing poetry and stories. My first completed story, The Drip can be found here on my blog.

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