Title: Leviathan Wakes
Series: Expanse, #1
Author: James S.A. Corey
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: June 2nd, 2011
Source: Gifted from my very clever, very generous #OTSPSecretSister (whose identity is still a secret to me)
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.
It’d be hard to overstate how much I loved this book. My family has been raving about it all year long (they’d read it before SyFy channel made the TV series, but the show just jazzed them all up again). But it’s an intimidatingly long 562 pages, so I was….hesitant.
My OTSP Secret Sister sent it to me, though, so I bucked up and plunged in….and was swept away. I read it in 10 days. TEN DAYS. I sacrificed a lot of sleep because of this book (and I don’t regret it at all). Where to start? It’s got a great cast of incredibly well-realized characters who are so believable, you can’t help but be invested in them. I’m not as savvy as Miller, but I completely understood his frustrations with Holden, who I’m probably most like in terms of idealism. The chapters swap POV between the two men, as their lives head toward intersection, and then beyond. Each is working their own mystery, which turns out to be related, and guys…..SO full of twists. There were moments of creep factor 11 here, and things so uncanny that they gave me physical shivers.
It’s not so hard science fiction that you’ll feel ostracized if you aren’t an astrophysicist, but it IS smart scifi, in that Corey accounts for gravity in space travel, on space stations, on asteroids, etc., what space battles and radar would realistically be like, how humanity could survive in such harsh environments, etc. All of the science served to bolster the believability of this story, and didn’t distract at all from it. The writing was tight, the tension was constant, and I just could NOT put this down for more than a few hours at a time.
I highly recommend it to you. I don’t care if you don’t normally read science fiction, or if space stories bore you, or if you scare easily, or if you don’t like mystery. You should read this book. It’s amazing. And then pick up book 2 (like I hope to….if my secret sister or swap partner doesn’t get it for me first).
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.