Friday, June 23, 2017

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse book 1)

Space. The final frontier. Humanity, insatiable in its quest for exploration, tosses itself into the void between worlds, strapped to tin cans with high explosives. What could possibly go wrong? Well, James S. A. Corey (who is actually two people or something) aims to find out in Leviathan Wakes, the first book of a (planned) nine-book series.

Meet James Holden, executive officer on a freighter which brings ice between planets. The solar system is a big place, after all, and people still need water. Unfortunately, when responding to a mysterious distress beacon, the freighter is nuked and almost all of Holden's friends are killed. It's not pretty.

Let's see if Josephus Miller is doing any better. He's a detective on Ceres station, born and raised in the Belt. He's running into some trouble because his partner, Havelock, is from Earth, which means that Belters don't like him so much. Still, everything should be fine, as long as some Earther doesn't inadvertently start a war because someone nuked his freighter and almost all of his friends were killed. But what are the chances of that, am I right?

So, yeah, now a war is brewing. The Earth and Mars are looking at each other all shifty, and the Outer Planets Alliance which claims to represent the belt is making everyone a bit antsy. Also, there's that thing from the introduction which hasn't shown up in a while. Hope that's not important. Now Holden is on a mission to find out who killed his ship, and Miller is on a mission to find a lost girl named Julie, and... well, things get a bit hectic.

Leviathan Wakes is a bangin' book. It's got killer pacing, and characters that are interesting and fun to be with. The world seems real and realistic, even with the crazier things that show up. The tension and the stakes keep getting ramped up, with more and more people being dragged in, and then you remember the title is "Leviathan Wakes" and get really worried. To make things even more intense, we follow Holden and Miller in alternating chapters, so there's almost always a cliffhanger after each chapter even if you don't stop reading, which I think is a really cool way to do things.

If you like high-stakes space drama mystery action, or if you want to become lost in a world which might be about to lose itself, or if you want to get to know interesting characters which could all die at any moment, then you should read Leviathan Wakes. And probably the rest of The Expanse.

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