Saturday, January 19, 2013

Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey

Title: Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1)
Author: James S.A. Corey
Paperback: 561 pages
Publisher: Orbit Books
Published date: June 2011
FTC: Borrowed from the library

A short while back I mailed my brother a package that included my copy of Old Man's War.  My brother lives in Alaska and while he has a full-time job, his just for fun part-time job is to work at a book store.  Which makes our phone calls so much fun - we love talking about books.  He started reading Old Man's War and was loving it and recommended I read Leviathan Wakes.  I said, sure!

O. My. Gosh.  I love this book.  It one of those that I completely forgot I had other books to read, I completely forgot it was over 500 pages, I just read and read and read.  I was going to get into the Old Man's War series but I decided to hit the library again and read this one.  Book #2 is out and I think Book #3 is coming out this year.  Wooohoo!

In a nutshell, Leviathan Wakes is a mix of Firefly, Sam Spade noir, Aliens, and vomit zombies.  O yeah.  Vomit Zombies.

Back of the book:

Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt.  When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted.  A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

My thoughts:

So much fun.  The book alternates chapters between Holden and Millers perspectives.  Unlike some books, I didn't have a favorite character, I enjoyed Holden and Miller in their own ways.  Holden is a handsome XO Earther and he just reminded me of a bit of Firefly's Mal only more of a straight arrow type.  His crew is awesome and I just loved the relationships they had.  Detective Miller is totally a Sam Spade character.  (I really have a thing for noir detective stories so obviously I adored his part in the story.)  He's divorced, in that age where you just too old to start over, and such a fascinating character to get inside of.   I absolutely loved when these two characters finally met up and the their interactions.

The world building is awesome.  My only issue is I kind of wish there was a map or something so I could where everything was in system.  After reading the author interview in the back of the book I loved that they picked a time in science fiction that is sometimes overlooked - Earth has expanded into our solar system but we hadn't yet gone beyond.  So this obviously takes place in the future but in a future that isn't too unbelievable and is remarkably like ours.  I thought the friction and sometimes downright animosity and almost racism that existed between people from Earth, Mars and Belters.  Totally believable but then it was awesome to see Holden's crew, who had people from all three areas, come together as a crew and be above that stuff.

I think there's a lot of genres in this book that are pulled together really well that if you aren't used to reading science fiction, you might enjoy this one.  I fell kind of silly to admit that while I enjoy sci-fi, I have no clue what a "space opera" really entails and if this is a good example of one.  All I can say is I am hooked in the series and will be heading out this weekend for Book #2.


As I was reading I kept thinking about who I'd cast if this was a movie or tv series.  I just might have to sign up for a StoryCasting account and have my brother help me out.  I do know that Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad is totally Colonel Fred Johnson, The Butcher of Anderson Station, a kick-butt side character whom I can't wait to read more about.  I just saw on GoodReads that his character has a 40 page story I'm going to have to read.

A quick note: James S.A. Corey is a pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R.R. Martin's assistant.

Also Reviewed By:
Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

I read this book as part of Carl's Science Fiction Experience

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