Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

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CoreyLeviathanWakesWhy I Read It: The authors of Leviathan Wakes (Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck write under the the pen name James SA Corey) were at Bubonicon 2013, so I had to check out this book.

Where I Got It: Own it (audible.com).

Who I Recommend This To: Love epic fiction? Love space opera? This is a great mash of the two.

Narrators: Jefferson Mays

Publisher: Recorded Books (2011)

Length: 19 hours 9 minutes

Series: Book 1 The Expanse Series

Author’s Page

Holden and crew mine ice on the rings of Saturn and transport it to the Belt. During one of their runs, they find a derelict ship, with a secret, that puts them smack in the middle of a political conundrum. Meanwhile, down and out Detective Miller has been hired by rich parents to find their daughter Julie. Still having a few wits about him and haunted by the image of Julie he tracks her to the derelict ship Holden & crew found.

And then the shit got real. Yeah. the book starts with this sweeping, fantastic colonized solar system with interesting people and complicated politics. But then the fates throw in something unforeseen and it just takes this book to the next level. This was one of my favorite books of the year and it is because of what happens in the second half of the book.

i also enjoyed the few nods to other science fiction greats, like a few lines about fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune and a reference to voices in the whirlwind (Walter Jon Williams). Not only that, but sometimes the dynamics and the back and forth dialogue between Holden and his crew were reminiscent of Firefly. While none of these things were so prominent to make me say, ‘oh, try this because it is just like…..’, there were these little hat tips or chin nods to other works and I loved that. Now I wonder if I missed some…. Perhaps this will turn into an annual read.

If I have any criticism with this book, it is that there were few female characters. Julie and Naomi (from Holden’s crew) appear more than 2-5 times but are still secondary characters. There are a handful of other ladies that make brief appearances (by turns they are competent and /or ruthless).

Now that I got that out of the way, I can continue to gush about this book. I read a lot of epic fantasy because I love the detailed character development, the depth of world building, and the intricate plots. So take those three elements and squish them together with a space opera and you get the magnificence that is Leviathan Wakes. Yeah, it’s that damn good.

The Narration: Jefferson Mays was a good fit for this book. He was the perfect fit for Holden. I don’t think I can imagine another voice for him after hearing this performance. One little niggling thing: the title was off by a single letter – Leviathan Awakes instead of the correct Leviathan Wakes and I heard it at the start of each downloaded section, so it stuck with me. I am guessing the narrator was handed the typo and Audible/publisher either didn’t catch it or didn’t think it worth the money to record it correctly.

What I Liked: Damn near everything; huge sweeping world as backdrop for our heroes to save the world; Holden and crew; messed up Miller; the mystery (which I won’t spoil for you) but it was awesome!; the ending (totally wasn’t expecting that!).

What I Disliked: Few females and none in major roles.

2014SFExperienceI’m taking part in the reading event of the season, The Science Fiction Experience 2014, hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

What Others Think:

The Little Red Reviewer

Attack of the Books!

SF Signal

The Book Smugglers

Tethyan Books

52 Book Reviews

Neth Space

Walker of Worlds

2 thoughts on “Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey”

  1. I liked this book quite a bit too, but I didn’t especially connect with the main characters. I don’t think it’s just because they were all men, but that was something I noticed and disliked as well. I think my favorite part of this book was the way it combined bits of different genres, particularly the fascinating mystery 🙂

  2. It is a fantastic book, and the next is even better…and has some major female roles handled very well, so I think you’ll be even more excited when you get a chance to try the next one, Caliban’s War. I would also recommend the short stories “The Butcher of Anderson Station” and “Gods of Risk”, the first of which ties in with Leviathan Wakes (as a prequel for one character) and the second which features a female character that is in Caliban’s War. Both can be had as cheap ebooks.

    I’m cracking into the third book of the series today.

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