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Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

James S.A. Corey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (501 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

The first novel in James S.A. Corey's SF New York Times bestselling Expanse series.

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.

Editorial Reviews


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 George R. R. Martin A winning blend of old-school space opera and modern sensibility... Corey combines no-nonsense storytelling with hard-boiled dialogue as the novel races to a truly cosmic ending. An excellent start to a promising new series THE TELEGRAPH Corey... has created a refreshingly blue-collar tale, with well-drawn characters and a compelling narrative sweep. Roll on Book Two. FINANCIAL TIMES LEVIATHAN WAKES is an amazing book. In fact, there is not a single negative thing I can say about the novel, which delivers in all phases including setting, characterization, story, pacing, prose, and from a purely entertainment standpoint. Simply put, LEVIATHAN WAKES is the best novel I've read in 2011 so far FANTASY BOOK CRITIC The world building, hands down, is some of the best that I've seen for a space opera novel, with a good cast of characters and story that go along with it ... This novel feels like a breath of fresh air, trading in the galaxy for our solar system, but retaining an sense of the epic SF SIGNAL If you love tales packed with worldbuildy details like how humans cored asteroids, pumped them full of atmosphere, and spun them up for gravity's sake, then you'll love this novel to pieces io9 LEVIATHAN WAKES is space opera for the masses-it asks for little from its readers other than that they show up and enjoy the ride, no doctorate in quantum mechanics necessary. The classic juxtaposition of Miller's hard-edged noir narrative and Holden's idealistic adventure are perfectly suited for one another and together they form the most enjoyable novel I've read so far in 2011. It's fast, it's fun and it's escapist science fiction in the purest sense of the term. One can only hope that The Expanse is expansive, indeed A DRIBBLE OF INK One of the best opening volumes to an SF series in recent memory, one of the most entertaining novels I've read in 2011 and a novel that only has me hungry for more in the series. This is a Space Opera I want to see more of on the shelves SFF WORLD A ridiculously entertaining space opera ... A relentless, page-turning novel with some great character-building WERTZONE So far as cinematic sci-fi goes, LEVIATHAN WAKES is as entertaining and summer-blockbuster as you can get with a 600 page book BOOK SMUGGLERS LEVIATHAN WAKES has it all and I defy you to come away from this book empty handed when I'm talking about things like the death of a battle cruiser, alien infestations on a space station and gunfights in seedy space port hotels ... If you read one science fiction novel this year I'd seriously consider making it this one. Essential space opera reading that bodes very well for future books in the series GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW This new science fiction series begins with an incredible story, complex and well-executed. With an intriguing storyline, vivid characters, and even vomiting zombies, this was highly enjoyable from start to finish. Blending suspense, horror, space opera, and mystery - this first installment is one no science fiction fan will want to miss SCIFI CHICK If you're looking for some Space Opera Noir SF goodness, then read this one, people. It's sure to please. It certainly did good things for me ELITIST BOOK REVIEWS LEVIATHAN WAKES is a big novel full of movie worthy space battles, hand-to-hand combat, near death experiences, a couple of love stories, and a big bad evil to be fought and conquered ... Approachable, easy-to-read, and entertaining GRASPING FOR THE WIND

About the Author

James S.A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3940 KB
  • Print Length: 579 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (June 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047Y171G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
143 of 154 people found the following review helpful
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Space Opera June 20, 2011
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
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent entertainment
I enjoyed Leiathan. The ending makes, I hope, for a sequel.
Published 19 hours ago by Lee H. Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book
Published 6 days ago by Karik J Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking
This is the first book in the expanse trilogy by James S.A. Corey, a new science fiction author who is in fact two writers. Read more
Published 9 days ago by reader 451
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and Interesting
Science fiction that doesn't need to be incomprehensible to be intelligent and fun. Right up my alley, and can't wait to see it brought to life onscreen. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best sci-fi stories I have ever read..
As said in subject - one of the best series for me. Not a native English speaker but i really enjoyed reading in original language. Read more
Published 12 days ago by grey451
5.0 out of 5 stars Great character development
Rooted in modern science and the laws of physics, so it is 'believable'. Great character development, great storyline, fantastic series. The plot twists will keep you riveted. Read more
Published 20 days ago by J. Burger
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and original series
Holden Cauffield IN SPACE!!! Fun and original series, although the main group of characters don't mostly seem to open up and mature until the second or third book. Read more
Published 25 days ago by carl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this whole series. Waiting for more
Published 25 days ago by H.R.Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, highly recommended.
Great read, highly recommended. Book two was a little slower start. I'm on book three now and hoping it will be good as book one.
Published 26 days ago by MCJohnscreek
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading the Entire Series
Just Amazing!!!!
Published 28 days ago by Eric Lease
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Leviathan Wakes - other sci fi recs
Kevin J Anderson's Saga of the Seven Sun series is space opear to the core, and thoroughly entertaining.
John Scalzi's Old Mans War saga is pretty awesome.
Dune, obviously a classic, can be a difficult read, but is at the top of the heap in terms of space operas. Plus, the series is quite... Read More
Sep 12, 2012 by MarkTwain |  See all 3 posts
Early review
Just wanted to add my two cents. I've clashed with Wert in the past on the Westeros forums, but his reviews are always fair and professional. Leviathan Wakes is an outstanding read - excellent world-building and good characterization. It does have an abrupt ending, which is a bit... Read More
May 4, 2011 by M. Alexis |  See all 7 posts
Is "Dresden" a nod to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden character?
No, coincidence

Source: I know both authors
May 29, 2012 by fantasylad |  See all 2 posts
trouble with dragon's path
For me it starts at the 50% mark of Leviathan Wakes. I was sort of hoping it would give me 2 seperate files, but instead it gave me the 2 books rolled into 1 file.
Feb 21, 2012 by Eric M. Ziegler |  See all 3 posts
Before anyone asks: Translation of the Finnish passage in chapter 46 Be the first to reply
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