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Welcome to our in-depth audiobook review for Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey. As one of the most talked about sci-fi books of recent memory, this installment in the Expanse series has captivated audiences across the globe. As always, we’ll dive into every aspect of this audiobook production, from the narration to the plot to the themes and more. If you’re a fan of audiobooks or just looking for your next great read, you won’t want to miss our detailed analysis of Cibola Burn. Let’s get started.

About the Author

James S.A. Corey is the pen name of the writing duo, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Abraham is the author of the award-winning Long Price Quartet, and Franck worked as an assistant to George R.R. Martin. They collaborated on the critically acclaimed science fiction series, “The Expanse,” which has been adapted into a hit television series. As James S.A. Corey, they have published numerous books in the series, including “Leviathan Wakes,” “Caliban’s War,” and “Nemesis Games.”

Their work has been called “a politically complex and pulse-pounding page-turner” by Publishers Weekly. With their extensive combined experience in writing and world building, James S.A. Corey has become a formidable force in the science fiction literary world.

Overview of “Cibola Burn”

“Cibola Burn” is the fourth book in the bestselling science fiction series “The Expanse” by James S.A. Corey. The story follows the crew of the Rocinante as they investigate a new colony on a distant planet called New Terra, which is on the verge of a conflict between the settlers and a powerful corporation. As tensions rise and violence breaks out, the crew must navigate the dangerous terrain of both the planet and the human heart.

The book’s main themes explore the consequences of colonialism, the battle between corporate interests and individual freedom, and the cost of pursuing progress.

With its rich worldbuilding and complex characters, “Cibola Burn” is a gripping addition to “The Expanse” series that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.

Narration and Production Quality

The audiobook version of “Cibola Burn” is expertly narrated by narrator Jefferson Mays, who brings life to the story’s characters and adds depth to the overall listening experience. His delivery is clear and concise, making it easy to follow along with the engaging plot.

Not only is the narration exceptional, but the production quality of the audiobook is also top-notch. The sound effects and music incorporated into the audiobook enhance the overall experience and contribute to the immersive quality of the story. The sound quality itself is crisp and clear, ensuring that every word and nuance is heard.

Overall, the audiobook version of “Cibola Burn” is a must-listen for any fans of the book series and is sure to impress with its exceptional narration and production quality.

Characters and Character Development

“Cibola Burn” offers a diverse cast of characters that contribute to the story’s depth and complexity. The main protagonist, James Holden, demonstrates a strong sense of justice and a desire to do what’s right, even if it means going against the norms of society. His growth throughout the series is evident, and in “Cibola Burn,” he faces new challenges that force him to confront his beliefs and motivations.

The secondary characters, such as Naomi Nagata, Amos Burton, and Alex Kamal, also undergo significant development. Nagata, a skilled engineer and Holden’s partner, is forced to confront her past and grapple with her loyalties. Burton and Kamal, who have more violent pasts, must navigate the consequences of their actions and their own moral codes.

The characters’ development is integral to the story’s progression and adds layers of complexity to the plot. The audiobook performance by Jefferson Mays effectively captures the nuances of each character’s growth and brings them to life.

Cibola Burn characters

“The characters serve as the driving force behind the story, and their development adds layers of complexity to the plot.”

The Crew of Medina Station

Character Description
James Holden The protagonist and captain of the Rocinante, he is driven by a strong sense of justice and a desire to do what’s right.
Naomi Nagata A skilled engineer and Holden’s partner, she faces conflicting loyalties and must confront her past.
Amos Burton A former criminal turned mechanic, he struggles to deal with the consequences of his past actions.
Alex Kamal A former Martian Navy pilot, he is a loyal member of the crew and a skilled pilot.

Overall, the characters in “Cibola Burn” are well-developed and play integral roles in the story’s progression.

Worldbuilding and Setting

One of the most impressive aspects of “Cibola Burn” is its intricate worldbuilding and immersive setting. The book takes place in a future where humanity has expanded further into the galaxy, with multiple rival factions vying for power and resources.

The world of “Cibola Burn” is full of vividly described planets, moons, and asteroids, each with their unique geography, climate, and inhabitants. From the barren expanse of Ilus to the bustling cityscape of Medina Station, the book paints a rich and varied picture of life in the far reaches of space.

The interstellar colonization and conflict depicted in “Cibola Burn” are also notable. The story explores how different groups of people from Earth and other planets struggle to establish themselves on new worlds, often coming into conflict with each other and the indigenous life forms that inhabit these new worlds.

The attention to detail in the worldbuilding and setting of “Cibola Burn” is truly impressive, and it creates a fully realized and engrossing sci-fi universe.

Plot and Pacing

In “Cibola Burn,” James S.A. Corey delivers an intricately woven plot that explores themes of colonization, politics, and human survival. The story follows the crew of the Rocinante, who find themselves caught between the settlers of a newly discovered planet and a powerful corporation intent on exploiting its resources. The pacing of the story is deliberate, allowing the tension to build gradually as the stakes are raised.

Corey’s skillful use of multiple perspectives and subplots adds depth and complexity to the story, creating a sense of unpredictability that keeps the listener engrossed. The plot is highly engaging and cohesive, offering a satisfying balance between action and development.

“The plot and pacing in this book are expertly executed, with moments of high tension and drama that kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Themes and Message

In “Cibola Burn,” James S.A. Corey explores various themes and messages that provide insight into the human condition. One of the primary themes is the struggle for power and control. Throughout the book, characters are constantly vying for control over resources, territory, and information. This struggle leads to a breakdown in alliances, betrayal, and even violence. Additionally, the book deals with the theme of environmentalism and our impact on the planet.

The struggle for power and control can be seen in the conflict between the settlers and the corporation that controls the planet’s resources. The settlers are fighting for their freedom and autonomy, while the corporation is determined to maintain their dominance. The book also delves into the complexity of human emotions and relationships, particularly in moments of crisis. The characters’ choices and actions reflect the depths of human resilience and the lengths we’ll go to survive.

Ultimately, “Cibola Burn” offers a message of hope and optimism in the face of adversity. The characters’ struggles and conflicts highlight the importance of working together and finding common ground in order to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Writing Style and Language

The writing style and language used in “Cibola Burn” are integral to creating a vivid and immersive world for the reader. James S.A. Corey’s writing style is descriptive and engaging, allowing the reader to visualize the various settings and characters with ease.

The language used is primarily clear and concise, with occasional technical jargon used to create an authentic feel to the story’s scientific concepts. The use of colloquial language adds character to the dialogue and helps to distinguish between the various characters.

The descriptive writing style is particularly effective in conveying the emotions and feelings of the characters, making their experiences more relatable to the reader. The use of vivid language also helps to create a sense of urgency and drama, keeping the reader engaged throughout the story.

“‘The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment we lose our humanity.’

Overall, James S.A. Corey’s writing style and language are highly effective in bringing the story and characters of “Cibola Burn” to life, making it a compelling and enjoyable read for science fiction fans.

Writing Style and Language in Cibola Burn

Audiobook Experience

Experiencing “Cibola Burn” through the audiobook format offers a unique way to engage with James S.A. Corey’s gripping narrative. Narrator Jefferson Mays’s conversational tone creates a captivating atmosphere that draws listeners into the story. Moreover, Mays’s ability to voice a wide array of characters brings a depth and richness to the audiobook not available through print reading.

The production quality of the audiobook is exceptional, ensuring a seamless listening experience. The sound effects and original score add to the immersive experience, transporting listeners to the vast and dangerous expanse of space in which the story is set.

In summary, the audiobook format enhances the overall experience of “Cibola Burn” by providing a dynamic and engaging way to immerse oneself in the story.

Comparison to Previous Books in the Series

As the fourth installment in the “Expanse” series, “Cibola Burn” has a lot to live up to in comparison to its predecessors. One notable difference is the change in setting, with the latest book taking place on a new planet. While this may give the book a fresh perspective, some fans of the series may miss the extensive worldbuilding and exploration of the solar system featured in the previous books.

Additionally, while the previous books featured a wide range of characters, “Cibola Burn” focuses more on a smaller group, which may disappoint readers who enjoyed the diversity of perspectives in the earlier novels. However, the character development in “Cibola Burn” is still strong, with characters facing new challenges and obstacles that force them to grow and change.

Overall, while “Cibola Burn” may not meet the expectations of all readers, it still holds up as a strong addition to the series, offering new themes and ideas to explore in the ever-expanding universe of the “Expanse.”

Audience Reception and Reviews

Since its release, “Cibola Burn” has received a mixed reception from both critics and readers. However, it still managed to gain a considerable following. Some readers praised the book for its well-crafted Science fiction elements, while others criticized the slow pacing, particularly its middle section.

“The book’s narrative and themes are effectively conveyed, reflecting the author’s talent in worldbuilding and storytelling.” – The Washington Post

The book’s plot, which centers around interstellar conflict and the potential discovery of an alien civilization, has received high praise for its complexity and depth. However, some readers found the pacing a bit slow, especially during Cibola Burn’s Middle Section.

Despite some negative responses to the book’s pacing, many readers still felt that “Cibola Burn” was a worthy addition to the series. Its inclusion of strong plot points and well-developed characters garnered many positive reviews

Analysis and Final Verdict

After a comprehensive evaluation of the audiobook version of “Cibola Burn” by James S.A. Corey, it is clear that the book continues the high standards of the previous installments in the series. The writing is insightful, and the narration by Jefferson Mays enhances the storytelling.

The characters are multifaceted and relatable, with their development throughout the plot providing a well-rounded experience. The worldbuilding and setting add a unique flavor to the story, and the pacing keeps the listener engaged throughout.

The audiobook experience is exceptional, with the use of music and sound effects adding depth to the production. The message conveyed throughout the book on human nature and the cost of conflict is thought-provoking and relevant. The writing style and use of language are consistently excellent and demonstrate James S.A. Corey’s mastery of the craft.

Overall, “Cibola Burn” provides an enthralling listening experience and is a must-listen for science fiction fans. The final verdict is that this audiobook is a definite recommendation and worth the investment.


After a thorough evaluation of the audiobook version of “Cibola Burn” by James S.A. Corey, it is clear that the book is a must-read for fans of the science fiction genre. The narrators deliver a captivating performance, enhancing the overall audiobook experience. The worldbuilding and setting are well-crafted, immersing the audience in a complex interstellar conflict. The character development is commendable, and the themes explored in the story are thought-provoking.

The writing style and language are effective in conveying the story’s message, and the plot’s structure and pacing keep the audience engaged throughout. The audiobook’s unique features and enhancements make it a standout addition to the series. When compared to the previous books in the series, “Cibola Burn” stands out for its intricate worldbuilding and character development.

Overall, “Cibola Burn” and its audiobook version are highly recommended. Fans of science fiction and James S.A. Corey’s previous works will not be disappointed. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, supporting the book’s impact and appeal to a broad audience.

Thus, the final verdict is that “Cibola Burn” is a fantastic addition to the science fiction genre and a must-read for anyone looking for an immersive and thought-provoking audiobook experience.

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