Considered to be one of the best ongoing science fiction series at the moment, Leviathan Wakes is the first in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse series. The Expanse is a series set far in the future, focusing mainly on the events of one team of space cadets who stumble on a secret that could change the human race forever.
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Leviathan Wakes focuses on the building of this storyline. It centres around building the character’s personalities, introducing the politics involved and generally helping you understand decisions made and the current landscape the characters find themself in.
Plot – 4.5/5
The plot of Leviathan Wakes begins with two main characters – James Holden who becomes the captain of a ship and Detective Miller who has been tasked with finding a very specific girl. There are questions as to why this girl is so special upon billions and when Miller digs deeper he soon begins to realise it’s because her parents are incredibly wealthy, influential and have something to hide. It’s a great introduction to Miller as a character and his questionable moral compass and gives a great grasp of how the current political climate is.
The other main plotline sees James Holden become the captain of a ship after its original captain dies and he ends up stumbling upon a lost ship in space that reveals a secret that you can tell he definitely wished he hadn’t stumbled upon. This book’s plot focuses on introducing this futuristic and vast climate that you’re being brought into with the last third featuring a lot of the action, intrigue and twists. It’s a story that I’d highly recommend sticking with as it will please nearly all science fiction fans. The last third of the book is worth waiting for alone!
Characters – 3.5/5
The two main characters in this first novel, Holden and Miller are a stark contrast from one another. Holden is sensible, sticks to the law, is calm and always reserves his opinions. Miller is the wild detective who’s been around the block and isn’t afraid to use immoral methods to get his way. I much preferred Miller simply because he’s a more developed and unique character. I found Holden to often moan at wrong-doings and lie just a little too on the side of caution to a point he almost became boring. The author, Corey does do a great job of giving them both depth and reasoning for their actions though.
The supporting characters are about average too. Holden’s crew do bring differing opinions and there’s one in particular who begins to act a comical relief from all of the other seriousness going on in the novel. Having read the sequel, I know the characters do become more fleshed out and Corey finds their personalities eventually, however, in this first book, there’s definitely a sense of Corey trying to understand who he wants each character to be.
Summary – 4/5
I liked Leviathan Wakes a lot – James S.A. Corey has written a fantastic science fiction novel here that will satisfy any science fiction fan. It’s not a short book but also doesn’t feel like it drags out as there’s a lot to be introduced and it’s introduced well. It’s a book to get yourself immersed in and one where you know there’s plenty more to come in the sequels.
The characters could do with a little more fleshing out but I know this comes later in the series and it also doesn’t take away from the novel too much either as the plot itself is so engrossing and captivating. Pick up your copy of Leviathan Wakes here.