Leviathan Wakes (Expanse 1)

James S. a. Corey
Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond. Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-03-22

Well sort of a review.  I've had this sitting in my currently reading well after I finished it, mulling over what to say.

 

It's a damn good book and excellent science fiction.  The basis of the tv series The Expanse -- which I have not watched and want to read further in series before starting.

 

Two things had it languishing on the TBR pile for quite a while -- wasn't sure how dark/horror it was (partly from seeing tv series trailers) and the number of POVs.

 

It's not horror in the sense of slasher films and the type of science fiction where there's some mutant something or unexplained monster showing up.  It is intense and there is violence and death -- but not what I'd consider horror.

 

The point of view changes surprisingly did not bother me; well handled and well written.  I am very curious how that's handled in the tv series with so much of what makes this book what the characters are thinking.

 

The type of juicy worldbuilding I enjoy without boring infodumps and lectures.

 

Definitely continuing the series.

Reviewed: 2019-01-14
Would have been five stars except for the 1) creepy male gaze throughout. both Holden and Miller had terrible attitudes towards women. and 2) the lack of good female characters.
Reviewed: 2016-12-15
Properly interesting sf. The rigidity of the two PoV system can be somewhat annoying at times, but it all hangs together surprisingly well. Recommended.



Edmond Hamilton meets E.E. "Doc" Smith in the 21st century, but in a bad way.

Do you all remember Smith's book about an evil planet of evil naked lesbians who only needed the love of a few good men to become nice ladies? This is almost as bad.

This novel should have been called "Firefly - the book". Holden is Malcolm Reynolds minus the charm and backstory. The crew also has a strong resemblance to the crew of the Firefly:

1 - Amos, a big, dumb weapons guy who talks a lot = Jayne (from Firefly);
2 - Alex, a likable, easy breezy pilot = Wash (from Firefly).

Another big no-no is related with the threat in the novel. In the first part, all the threats are quite well designed. In the second part of the book, the threats are just pushed away. The all-winning enemy with their army of stealth ships that launch waves of nukes and take out Martian battleships all of a sudden changes, becoming little more than a plot device. Lack of ideas?

And don't get me started on the coincidences that populate the book.

After almost 600 pages it seemed like that it'd been written by someone with absolutely no knowledge of the history of SF.

I was bored out of my mind. I couldn’t get into the characters, the plot seemed to drag, and I also found it to be badly written. I just had to finish it to see how the all thing would end.

Redeeming factor: the title.
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