cover image Cibola Burn: The Expanse, Book Four

Cibola Burn: The Expanse, Book Four

James S.A. Corey. Orbit, $27 (592p) ISBN 978-0-316-21762-0

Interstellar gates, relics of a long-vanished civilization, offer access to a thousand star systems. Despite that bounty of planets, territory disputes still threaten the war refugees who fled to the safety of a world they call Ilus. Royal Charter Energy prefers to call it New Terra, and claims it under U.N. charter. Fearing the vast corporation’s encroachment on their home, the colonists commit an act of terrorism that leads to a spiral of violence. Dispatched to rebuild the peace, spaceship captain James Holden is caught between two factions determined to win at any cost; worse, even as the local fauna turn on the humans, remnants of the force that exterminated an alien civilization are beginning to wake. Corey’s splendid fourth Expanse novel (after Abaddon’s Gate) blends adventure with uncommon decency. Even as hostile biochemistries vie with slumbering war machines for a chance to exterminate squabbling people, a spark of humor and hope suggests that despite ourselves, we might find a way to prevail. (June)