Cibola Burn - Book Discussion

This is dedicated to the discussion of the novel Cibola Burn, Book 4 in the Expanse series. All spoilers up to and including Book 4 are allowed, this includes the novellas: “The Butcher of Anderson Station”, “The Churn”, “Drive”, “Gods of Risk”, and “The Vital Abyss” as well as all of Books 1-3.  If you’d like to discuss all written works in general please see the Book Club discussion thread. No spoilers past Book 4 please and that includes show spoilers. 


  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    It looks like despite speculation they might skip over CB, season 4 will be headed to Ilus!

  • Hope them skipping over it is true. This was the book where I gave up on the series. 
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    It definitely feels like a one-off in the series. Nemesis Games is better in my opinion.
  • I love CB, its a western. It has the same sorts of issues where its "twists" (eye infections) are a little too obviously set up but that's a theme with all of the books. By the time things really break open into chaos its pretty fun. Also the Miller business is whacky, and if it's not your cup of tea I can understand but I enjoyed him as a giant bug.
  • It's also critical to get us on the ground of these fledgling worlds for events in later books. I like the political issues that new worlds present being the central focus early on and again this is something that will continue to pay off in subsequent books, not to get too specific. Plus Amos is in it and Amos is fucking awesome.
  • While I get why this book gets more polar reviews than the others, I'm also on the side of people liking it. I enjoyed the new characters more than in book 3, and yeah the Miller stuff was whacky but Miller is my favorite part of book 3 / season 3 so I don't mind. Also, we get a lot of Amos.

    I wonder, will they get Havelock back, given that we haven't seen him since season 1? I'm wondering which character(s) will get "Martin's razzored" this time. Also curious if they'll just go for book 4 or integrate book 5 in the season.
  • I also really like CB and am looking forward to seeing it on screen.  I enjoyed the “bottle episode” nature of it after the first three books and liked seeing old minor characters return as POV characters.  I think calling it a western is right on the money, everything from the tiny town to the psycho badguy.  And as has been said a bunch now I’m in favor of any book that has lots of Amos, he and Miller are my favorite characters so having both of them in good sized rolls is a real treat.
  • This is the most recent book I've read and I actually really liked it.  Coloring in the details on the colonization of all the new worlds we just found is actually pretty interesting, imo.  And I obviously can't say for sure yet but I think the concepts it introduces about alien terraforming are probably going to be important to the overall story.  Also, it's just damned entertaining.

    Melonusk said:
    Also curious if they'll just go for book 4 or integrate book 5 in the season.
    It probably depends on the length of the seasons now that they're with Amazon.  If it's still 13 eps, I'd say go for it.  Book 4 doesn't feel like it needs a full season.  If it's just 6 to 10 eps, that might be too much to cram in.
  • I agree with those who don't understand the dislike of this book.

    Slight spoiler

    I think the unavoidable flaw with all the books is that the crew of the Rocinante are so great when together any time spent apart seems like a ripoff. Also for the space nerds there is less space stuff but I find the space stuff good in this book.

    I had a feeling that it wasn't going to get skipped when the last season ended with the Holden monologue about the impending land rush he knew was coming.
  • Yea the "land rush" speech is a dead giveaway and I hope they take their time with this season/book. The pace of the first three seasons can be fun at times but I really feel like they could have benefited from  letting the story breathe as it seemed too condensed at times. Either way I hope they really lean into CB and let it smolder like it does in the book because they next book/season is gonna be BANANAS, and this is really the last opportunity for several books to get the story real small and focused. Relatively speaking of course, I mean its in a new system and takes place half in orbit and what have you. Anyway I want the full Amos arc from Cibola Burn and the way they keep highlighting the good stuck on the ship last season means they plan to address  it in the next season.

    I agree with the kinda/slight spoiler above.
  • When I read the book I pictured Clancy Brown as Murtry, I wonder who they cast
  • CapeGabe said:
    When I read the book I pictured Clancy Brown as Murtry, I wonder who they cast
    Ironically I mentally pictured David Strathairn as Murty, but that seems pretty unlikely now!  I’d love to see John Slattery in the role, bring back the mustache and bulk up a bit and he’d be a cold blooded mother!
  • Slattery would be a hilarious twist on the character and Clancy Brown wouldn't be bad (but imho it'd be a little too "SyFy" style casting). I honestly pictured Ian McShane when reading/audiobooking, though I know I KNOW that is as in the sky as a pie can get. Still I just picture him as Swearengen on an alien world and its fucking awesome. Also I can't imagine anyone less getting the better of Amos (kinda).

  • asmallcat said:
    Hope them skipping over it is true. This was the book where I gave up on the series. 
    From what I've read it sounds like they may be spending some time focusing on events happening back in the Sol System with Bobbie and Avasalara in parallel with the Roci crew on Ilus. I know that some of the events that happen in the beginning of Nemesis games happen while the Roci crew is still on Ilus. 

    So I image the action will be split between some western style action on Ilus while back in Sol Bobbie and Avasalara give us the political intrigue that makes this series so great. 
  • That sounds like something I could get on board with.
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