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Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse) Paperback – June 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: The Expanse (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841499889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841499888
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (500 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It's been too long since we've had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written, the kind of SF that made me fall in love with the genre way back when, seasoned with a dollop of horror and a dash of noir. Jimmy Corey writes with the energy of a brash newcomer and the polish of a seasoned pro. So where's the second book? George R. R. Martin "Corey... has created a refreshingly blue-collar tale, with well-drawn characters and a compelling narrative sweep. Roll on Book Two." FINANCIAL TIMES

About the Author

James S. A. Corey is a collective pseudonym for Nebula award-nominee Daniel Abraham, and Ty Franck, personal assistant to epic fantasy heavyweight George R. R. Martin.

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Customer Reviews

That made things seem a bit too neat and tidy for me at that point in the book.
Amazon Customer
I say this because we've all had that book we read and thought something like "That book was good, I wonder how book 2 will screw this up."
Cory Williams
This story is a good fun read that is well written with interesting characters and good character and plot development.
Alan K. Gordon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 154 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Canterbury, an ice-hauling ship, receives a distress signal from the Scopuli, a deserted ship with a hole in the hull and a transmitter that sends a signal as soon as the ship is boarded. Soon the Canterbury is attacked and destroyed by a frigate that appears to be part of the Martian Navy. Only the shuttle crew that boarded the Scopuli survives, including XO Jim Holden. When Holden broadcasts the details of the attack, the news nearly ignites a war between residents of the Belt (represented by the Outer Planets Alliance) and those of Mars. Holden's story, told in the odd-numbered chapters, unfolds from there.

The story told in the even-numbered chapters belongs to Miller, a security officer (essentially a corporate cop) on Ceres, a Belt gateway. Miller is assigned to find Julie Mao, the missing daughter of a wealthy corporate executive, and return her to her parents. Miller eventually hears that Julie shipped out on the Scopuli and he goes looking for her. A little less than halfway into the novel, the two storylines converge as Miller and Holden meet in a moment of unexpected violence. Miller's investigation leads him to a conspiracy that relates to the prologue in which a character melts into goo. More than that I cannot say without revealing too much of the lengthy but carefully plotted story.

This is throwback science fiction, an old school space opera married to a futuristic detective story. While much of the background in Leviathan Wakes is familiar (the privatization of law enforcement, the conflict between the old "inner planets" and the rebellious "outer planets" that resent being taxed and controlled by Earth), James Corey (the combined pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) does an impressive job of making it seem fresh.
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86 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Ian Adams on July 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Good: A well thought out and surprisingly believable (up to a point, Ill get to that later) universe. Interesting, if predictable, politics in the universe. As a whole, I loved the setting. Neat ideas for combat as well. Very immersive!

The Bad: They started off great, good mystery, decent pacing. Characters are so-so but work well enough given the fantastic setting. They take a great universe and wonderful setting, and then load it up with cliches and rehashes done a million times over. Alien threat, Evil/Amoral corporation justifying crazy actions with predictable rationalizations.

Bottom line: Despite the hiccups, it kept me going to the end, and I will be picking up the next book in the series. The setting and universe was great and intriguing, but the authors (yes there are two, it's two dudes under a pen name) just didn't seem to know what to do with it once they got the setup out of the way and went with the usual suspects.
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55 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Liptak on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you like Space Opera, this will be the book for you: Leviathan Wakes, by author James A. Corey (a collaboration between Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Spanning much of our solar system, it's an epic story in a reasonably near future, with an excellently conceived of environment and a fun story that is both action packed and thoughtful. Leviathan Wakes is the embodiment of what good space opera should be: there's a bit of a scientific background that helps to inform the plot, but the focus of this story is on the characters and major events that blast the story forward.

As such, Leviathan Wakes works on a number of levels. Throughout the story, the influence of two authors who have been identified strongly with the fantasy genre is clear in the text: there is a wide, sweeping and epic sense to the world that's been constructed here, and the fingerprints feel very much like there's experience with fantasy here. This ranges from the somewhat tired: some of the characters feel almost a little too forced with the world-weary or tough guy things that some modern fantasy novels seem to be saddled with, to the good: the world building and scale of the storyline, which seems to grow and grow.

In a large sense, a space opera story has far more in common with a fantasy novel, as opposed to a straight up science fiction novel, although Leviathan Wakes feels at times like it's caught between the two, for better and worse: for most of the story, it's evenly balanced between the two, and it works very well from that standpoint: the science helps to inform the rules of The Expanse, while the fantastic elements get taken over by the story and its own momentum.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Amos on December 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I started reading Leviathan Wakes because I'm a fan of the author's fantasy work under the name Daniel Abraham (though I still haven't read the last of the Long Price series, shame on me.) His fantasies have a simple, yet eloquent style that makes them captivating and intriguing, even when not much is going on in the way of action. I wasn't quite expecting the same here, after reading that the book had to do with space zombies, yet still, If I hadn't already known, I wouldn't have believed this was penned by the same man. Does that mean this book is bad? Not necessarily. But it is very different from what I expected, and I can't say I enjoyed it as much.

(Disclaimer: this review should be at least 95% spoiler free. I will do my best not to reveal any crucial plot points but you may learn more about the book reading this review than you would the jacket cover. You've been warned.)

The book definitely had my attention from the start. I was intrigued by the universe, almost Firefly-esque, being confined to the solar system with the stars just as inaccessible in the future as they are in the present. Like in Hunter's Run, (which the author co-wrote as Daniel Abraham) it is a future without the fancy things like lasers, robots and green men that we've come to expect from Space Opera. Leviathan leans more in the direction of realism (that is, until the space zombies). Space flight is boring, hand guns fire metal projectiles and space is full of the same stinky, flawed humans that our Earth is now. Is there anything wrong with any of this? Not specifically, no. I like a gritty, realistic fiction. It's how I like my fantasy, after all.

Before I go more into the setting, let's talk about the main characters.
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