Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I feel like I've read this book three times now. Sure, not quite true, but I DID watch the Expanse episodes encompassing this book. So close enough. And now, after a third (sic second) read?
This is the gold standard for space opera. :) Everything else is just trying to catch up. :)
My original review still stands, too. :) I love it all. It's as close to genius as this kind of story can get.
Fantastic Space-Opera! I didn't know what to expect when I picked up the book besides the basic premise, and yet I was slowly drawn into situation after situation that got bigger and more bad-ass, contrary to what I was expecting in the first hundred pages or so. Sure, Solar-system action, big haulers, warships... I didn't expect the scope to become as large as it soon became, and believe me, I was quite satisfied with what came next. War? No problem. An expectation of high-level manipulation? Again, no problem. Cthulhu vomit zombies from galactic gods? I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. Sorry about the spoilers, folks. I couldn't resist, especially how well it was developed and written and snared me big time. The title could have been filler, but actually, it was spot on mythological-wise. There were quite a few great cultural references that never felt strained or out of place. I was frankly delighted by the story and ideas. I've read quite a few novels that couldn't match this one.
I am tempted to compare this, slightly, to the tone and complexity available in Brin's Startide Rising. Nothing quite matches between SR and LW except the amount of world-building, depth of characterizations, implied scope, and delightful multiple plot twists. That is a lot, mind you, but in no way are the two related in the story! Leviathan Wakes was my first intro into the Expanse and I'll be looking forward to reading all of the rest, including the not-yet-released 4th book, with great anticipation.
Great, great space opera!
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