Reviews

Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey

curlybangsandbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

General feelings: I loved this book!

Leviathan Wakes is an interplanetary adventure in a world where humans have colonized the solar system. There are cultural and political tensions between Earth, Mars, and the Space Station Colonies located in the asteroid belt. The main story of imminent war is interwoven with a missing persons mystery and interpersonal struggles of our main cast of characters as they get thrown into a system wide conflict.

I was incredibly impressed with the authors' ability to immerse me in the story completely. The characters, the plot, the atmosphere, and the mystery all kept me engaged throughout the entire adventure. I particularly enjoyed the dynamics between our main crew and the ways they adapted to each new challenge.

I was occasionally bothered by a pattern I noticed in the authors storytelling. Often there would be a buildup of tension that seemed to be heading for a burst of conflict, only for that conflict to be soothed away by conversation, circumstance, etc. This soothing wasn't your typical plot convenience style, it always made sense, but eventually I did start to miss the release of tension during an actual conflict.

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with this book and absolutely cannot wait to continue on in the story! Everyone should give this book a shot at some point in their life!

jumpydragon's review against another edition

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4.0

The start of The Expanse series is a great adventure filled with some great grittiness to the harsh nature of space and human nature. The mystery involved kept me awake into the wee hours of the morning, but what kept me going was the crew. Holden and his gang reminded me of the crew of Firefly in how they interacted with each other. What a great surprise for one who dearly misses the show. I look forward to the continuation of the series.

emilysripereviews's review against another edition

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4.0

I never thought I’d like Space operas but..... here we are.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Leviathan Wakes is a book that has so many well done plot twists that I am both excited and extremely scared for what’s to come in the next EIGHT BOOKS! I’m so glad I started this series, while skeptical at first I’m hooked.
The books takes a dual perspective approach with, James Holden, the second in command on a water retrieval ship and Detective Miller, a middle aged policeman on Ceres station. We spend the first half of the book following their separate lives but when Holdens ship is blown up by Mars and Miller is kicked out of agency for looking to far into a case they become tenuous friends to try and ... save earth and the universe from a alien brown goo. The book is fast paced, extremely heartfelt and uses just the right amount of technology banter that you don’t get lost. The only think holding me back from a five star is Millers chapters in the end got quite a bit long and tedious in (my opinion) This book really drives into what it means to be human and how origin can tear us apart and although this series is MASSIVE, I’d highly recommend it.

ksander's review against another edition

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5.0

This is one of those times when an automated recommendation turns out to be on point and you're glad you followed it. I happened to stumble across the title about the same time promos were running for the SYFY channel's TV series it inspired; the commercials looked good, the description looked good, so I gave it a shot. What I found was an intricately built setting, a detailed and captivating plot, and a compelling main character.

Set in humanity's future, where we've colonized the solar system but not yet figured out how to travel to the stars (at least not fast enough to fit in a feature film or TV episode...), it offers a grittier and more dystopian view than Roddenberry. Earth and Mars are both military superpowers, in a somewhat uneasy and fragile coexistence. Parts of the asteroid belt and some of the moons of the outer planets have been colonized, mainly for their resources (or their transshipment), and have been long enough for noticeable and linguistic physical differences to manifest. Yet existence out there is more tenuous, and there is growing resentment of the inner planets' perceived exploitation.

First, my only REAL gripe. While both the main characters are well-developed, one of them - a detective - struck me as an incongruously anachronistic stereotype. In an interview, the authors ("James SA Corey" is a pen name for a two-writer collaboration) describe him as "noir," and that's not inaccurate, but I wonder if there wasn't a way to write a "noir" style detective in the 24th century without him coming off so much like a 1930s comic book detective. As one of the two points of view for the story, he does his job and moves the action around, and he even engenders a bit of sympathy, but I could never really buy all the way in.

The other main character, however - the man whose discovery thrusts him into the middle of a vast and potentially catastrophic conspiracy - was brilliantly done. In contrast to Roddenberry's larger-than-life Kirk, Holden is an everyman... and a somewhat broken everyman. He'd been unceremoniously booted out of the (space) navy years before, and had been grinding out a living hauling cargo. He never quite seems sure of himself, and often looks to his subordinates for ideas of what to do, or their approval of whatever it was he'd decided (even if sometimes what he's decided turns out to be recklessly naive). Yet he somehow manages to rise to the occasion when he needs to. His flaws and insecurities make you want to root for him, and his triumphs make you happy for him (though, since the book is a series, much like watching the first installment of a movie you know is going to be a trilogy, you're pretty sure he'll squeak through somehow...).

As the opening offer in a series of novels, novellas, and short stories, it's certainly done its job - I intend to check out more... and eventually get around to watching the TV series, too.

jordanalexsmith's review against another edition

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5.0

Fantastic book. I cannot wait to get further into this series.

weronika's review against another edition

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3.0

3.25

salatbart's review against another edition

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3.0

"Oh no! Space Zombies are attacking!"

It's a book to eat popcorn to.

joshbugg's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

levimw12's review against another edition

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5.0

Wow what an great book. This took me a while to get through but I’m glad I finished it. Highly recommend to sci-fi fans!

wintermoons's review against another edition

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DNF at 69 percent

Maybe it was the length, maybe the overly complicated political aspects, maybe something else but I found myself still reading it just because I wanted to say I'd finished it.