A review by neko_cam
Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey


Two thirds hard sci-fi, one part science fantasy, and a damn good read on the whole.

Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach. The major political powers are the United Nations on Earth, the Mars Government, and the Outer Planets Alliance who are themselves only a quasi-governmental force at best.
SpoilerProtogen have retrieved a pre-ancient biological alien artefact that they've called the Protomolecule and their sample has gotten loose.

Jim Holden is a believably naive idealist and his mistakes are all carried out with the best of intentions. Detective Miller is his contrasting straight-man, a jaded pragmatist though his primary motivations do seem altruistic.

I particularly appreciate that the characters never feel shoehorned together for the sake of narrative convenience. They rub against each other with significant friction, they fight, and they separate when it's a realistic thing for them to do.