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Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse Book 1) Kindle Edition

620 customer reviews

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Length: 579 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Babel-17
"Babel-17" by Samuel R. Delany
Ravaged by two decades of savage war, Rydra Wong is called in by the military to decipher the strange radio sounds before and after each enemy attack. To save humanity, she must make sense of this gibberish, but the more she understands the more she is enticed to join the enemy. Will she? Learn more | See related books

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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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4991 KB
  • Print Length: 579 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (June 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047Y171G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,401 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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166 of 181 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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105 of 127 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Leviathan Wakes, though it lists only a single author (James Corey) is actually a collaborative effort by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Since Abraham, author of the Long Price Quartet and more recently The Dragon's Path, is one of my favorite fantasy authors, I had high expectations for this science fiction effort and I have to say they were pretty much met. Leviathan Wakes was a fun ride throughout, an excellent mix of character and action.

The setting is a mid-range future where humanity has colonized much of the solar system with vibrant if hardscrabble habitats on Mars, the Moon, various asteroids, and many of the planetary moons. As the outer colonies grow, they strain more and more under their dependence on the inner planets and tensions between the groups are rising. What sets a match to the tinderbox of politics is the discovery of a derelict spacecraft harboring a secret that will shake the foundations of the solar system and set planets and colonies one against the other.

Central to the events are Jim Holden, second officer aboard the ice-towing ship that finds the derelict, and Miller, a detective on Ceres assigned a seemingly trivial job that will eventually connect with the derelict ship. While Holden is surrounded by a small, tight-knit group, Miller is mostly a loner, save for his fish-out-of-water new partner who grew up in the inner system. We swing back and forth between Holden and Miller's stories for a big chunk of the book, the two plot lines eventually converge and the men come together.

Leviathan really reminded me quite a bit of old-fashioned sci-fi, the kind of stuff I grew up on--Asimov, Heinlein, and the like (though much better crafted).
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61 of 75 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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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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