Cibola Burn is a novel that grabbed me by the throat from the first chapter and didn’t let go until the very end. I continue to be floored by the story and universe James S.A. Corey is constructing, and this probably was my favorite science fiction read of 2019.
To me, this feels almost like the beginning of a new series. The first three books had us hopping all over the solar system, engaged in a complex geopolitical struggle between various factions of humans and an unknown alien intelligence.
In contrast, Cibola Burn feels smaller. The ramifications, of course, will echo through the wider system, but the focus here is tight.
Here’s what amazes me: This book isn’t small, and while the pacing is quick, it isn’t quite breathless. It holds your attention, mystery and high stakes propelling the reader forward. But it doesn’t sacrifice character development or Big Ideas. The balancing act required to pull that off is incredible. As a writer, I’m flabbergasted. As a reader, I’m overjoyed.