Author: James S. A. Corey
Series: Expanse #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach. Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, “The Scopuli,” they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why. Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to “The Scopuli” and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything. Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.
I want to thank these authors for rekindling my love for science fiction (yes, I said authors, see below)! Everything about this story had me frantically turning the pages to see what happened next. I haven’t been this excited about a sci-fi series since I picked up Aguirre’s Grimspace a couple of years ago. And you know what? I really missed it! There’s nothing like diving into the universe to give you that ultimate feel of adventure!
And adventurous it was – on a galactic scale (okay, maybe only on a solar system scale… It just doesn’t sound as cool). And it was a smart book – plenty of complexity, with interwoven plots that were just enough to keep me guessing but not so much that it was confusing. A book that is dynamic and well planned out gets my vote every time – and I probably appreciated the most because it’s something I don’t feel I could ever do in my own writing.
Another thing I loved about this book was characterization. I’ve been really lucky lately because I’ve picked up tons of books with exceptional characters (which means I’ve had some of the best reading in my life recently). Characters make or break books for me – I can put up with a lot of faults, but if I don’t like the people, I most likely won’t like the book. Leviathan Wakes had so many fantastic characters that I’d be hard-pressed to tell you which one I liked the most. Even the minor ones who only got a few pages were memorable… it blows my mind.
So far, I’ve mentioned great plot structure and characters, but I don’t think I’d be raving about the book as much if they hadn’t been combined with such killer pacing. Every moments was exciting and stressful… in a good way. It’s the type of exhilarating read that gets the adrenaline flowing and the heart pumping – I had to stop reading it before bed because it took me from drowsy to wide awake after only a few pages. It never slowed down, either. The whole book was just one big snowball ride all the way to the end!
Very few books max out my awesomeness scale in every category, but this one managed! It’s the perfect mix of science fiction, mystery, and romance (on a minor scale), and has turned me into an adoring fan of “space opera.” What’s more, after reading Leviathan Wakes, I discovered the author’s name is actually a pen for two collaborative writers: Daniel Abraham (who has quickly become one of my favorite new-generation fantasy authors with his Long Price Quartet series) and Ty Franck (who I’m told did some ghostwriting work for George R.R. Martin). I don’t know if it’s possible, but this discovery makes me love the book even more!
Recommended Reading: for any science-fiction lover (or for that matter, for anybody looking to give sic-fi a try). This book is also perfect for anyone looking for an exhilarating read – one that’s impossible to put down!
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