Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

James Holden is a crewman on an ice mining ship near Saturn that runs across an abandoned ship and quickly finds itself ambushed. But what does that have to do with a detective on Ceres tasked with finding a missing rich girl and bringing her back to Earth?

I'm only seven years late to the party on this but what's the point of watching a TV show based on a book without being able to annoy everyone by pointing out the differences? One of my earliest memories was watching the re-release of the original Star Wars in the theater 1981-ish so I've always been interested in space stories. This one was more Firefly than Star Wars but I liked it quite a bit.

Told using two different viewpoint characters, Leviathan Wakes is the story of a war unfolding between Earth, Mars, and the Belters, denizens of various asteroid settlements. Someone tries their damnedest to shift the blame around, though.

The Miller thread was by far my favorite. The down and out detective won me over with his sheer doggedness, losing everything in the process of finding a missing girl that no one actually wanted him to find. The thread with Holden and his ragtag gang reminded me of Firefly quite a bit. Their asses went from the frying pan to the fire so many times they should have been burned beyond recognition. When the two threads finally converged, I knew I was in for the long haul.

Leviathan Wakes is very hard to put down. It's written in an accessible style and is light on the science, though its portrayal of space and space travel is a lot harsher and leaning toward what life in space might really be like than a lot of science fiction. There's action, humor, intrigue, pretty much everything you'd want from a science fiction adventure story. It's not a perfect book, though. Sometimes the characters make a few too many snarky remarks and sometimes they do outright stupid things. Other than that, I've got no complaints.

I don't take a lot of chances on series that aren't yet completed but I'm glad I took a chance on this one. Leviathan Wakes is the best first book in a sf/fantasy series I've read in years. Four out of five stars.

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