LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S. A. Corey [Review]

Mars has been colonized and humans have settled throughout the asteroid belt, even in the outer parts of our solar system. Earth has the numbers, Mars the technology, and those living in the asteroid belt, Belters, provide minerals and water to the rest of the galaxy. A mining ship investigates an abandoned ship on an asteroid with no sign of its crew or purpose. A detective investigates a kidnapping case full of political overtones while fighting his own demons. When these two mysteries cross paths in LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S. A. Corey (a pen name used by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), the outcome could lead to an interplanetary war and extinction of the human race.

One of the reasons I was so interested in reading Leviathan Wakes was that there was buzz about it being a grand space opera story. For those of you not familiar with the term, space operas are supposed to be romantic tales in a science fiction setting where there is generally some kind of conflict occurring between parties. This book doesn’t really meet these criteria, but instead brings on an amazing combination of action and noir fiction that pulls you in like a tractor beam. This combination is only enhanced by the rich science fiction background the authors weave throughout the story, especially when it came to the variety of technologies present in the different ships/locations visited throughout the book.

Leviathan Wakes’ other highlights are the great characters Abraham and Franck put on paper. You start off with two very compelling characters in Holden, the executive officer of the mining ship, and Miller, the detective from Ceres, but the supporting cast also brings a lot to the storyline and pacing. Since this book is the first in The Expanse series, there are still a lot of options available to the writers for where they want to take these characters and how to develop them over a number of books. I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series will bring!

I would recommend this book anyone who likes science fiction stories, but also for those who like a good noir detective story. Age wise this is suitable for older teens to adults; I don’t think younger readers will really be able to get the flow of the story and some of the complex story elements. As an added bonus, Orbit Books has released wallpapers for your computer or mobile device based on the cover of Leviathan Wakes, which is a cool way to share your love of sci-fi novels with others.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Publisher:Orbit Books | Pages: 592 | Source: NetGalley | Buy on Amazon

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