Review: Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like space operas, you are going to LOVE this book. If you don’t know if you like space operas because you’ve never encountered one before (they’ve gotten to be a bit rare), that’s ok: If you like “Firefly,” or “Alien,” or “Armageddon,”and maybe a bit of “The Walking Dead” and “Law & Order: SVU,” you’re going to like this book. Heck, if you like “Star Trek: The Next Generation”‘s interaction with the Borg, or if Gaius on “Battlestar Galactica” was your favorite character, you’ll love this.

If you see “Leviathan Wakes” in the bookstore and are terribly intimidated because it’s a monstrously thick book, get over yourself and buy it anyway. Or buy the ebook. But you should absolutely read it.

“Leviathan” is a bit slow to get going. There’s a weird mystery from the very beginning, but it took me awhile to “get it” and to really understand the monstrosity of it. You’ll start out getting acquainted with the rough-and-ready crew of an ice hauler, just going about the normal efforts of transporting ice from Saturn to the colonies out in the asteroid belt. But of course, things go wrong.

You’ll also meet Detective Miller, who shows you a thing or two about how to deal with crime in a Belter colony. (Hint: Mess with the atmo, get thrown out an airlock). He’s a space version of your tired old tough-guy TV cop, and you’ll love him for it, even as he slowly breaks apart.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the rest of the book involves:
-terrifying monsters (hint: zombies)
-sentient alien weaponry
-the challenges of dating in space
-intra-galactic battles
-cunning diplomats
-against-all-odds scenarios

I think that just about covers it–but, admit it, I had you at “sentient alien weaponry,” didn’t I?

This book is a heckuva lot of fun, and really defied my expectations. Just when I thought I knew what was coming, it took another shocking turn. I really appreciated the respect for the science; you get a really good look at the many challenges of living in/colonizing space, and how that would change not just the solar system, but the people, and how those challenges might be overcome.

Great read. Cannot praise this story enough. Go get it!

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