Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)
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Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1)

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  22,646 ratings  ·  2,303 reviews
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 secr...more
Paperback, 561 pages
Published June 2nd 2011 by Orbit (first published 2011)
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Ready Player One by Ernest ClineOld Man's War by John ScalziAnathem by Neal StephensonThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century
8th out of 301 books — 2,679 voters
Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonRevelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Excellent Space Opera
7th out of 247 books — 1,317 voters


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Community Reviews

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Joel
I complained in my review of Chasm City that the gee-whiz mechanics of space opera can't really sustain a 600-page narrative. It turns out I was perhaps incorrect: most of the lengthy examples I've sampled in the sub-genre (Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks) are of the "dark and gritty" variety, grim, nihilistic visions of the future starring amoral asshole protagonists who are impossible to sympathize with. Even with a bunch of cool ideas on display, spending 700 pages in these books is exhausti...more
DMS
Apr 13, 2011 DMS rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Felicia
I've been gorking out on Urban Fantasy and Romance lately, so mixing it with a FANTASTIC Space Opera was JUST what I needed!

I loved this book because in a lot of ways it humanized a BIG SF world in a way that is normally tough. I cared about the characters, I yelled at them a lot, and I enjoyed every minute! It felt modern and current, and created a really believable world that I wanted to live in and learn about. The politics of Earth vs Mars vs the Fringers, the mystery and vaguely noir-ish su...more
mark monday
EH? EH! this so-called space opera is anything but. no sense of wonder, no sense of truly divergent civilizations, no galactic span. and a clear lack of operatic emotions on display as well. perhaps this is due to the characterization, which is rote, uninteresting, and badly developed, with sub-par Firefly-style dialogue along for the ride. perhaps it is also due to the subject matter, which is confined to purely in-system politics between Earth and Mars (the two reigning superpowers) and the as...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five

**UPDATE 6 September 2013** More Suckass News Dept, from SFSignal: "Variety is reporting that scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Iron Man and Children of Men) will script the pilot of the how called The Expanse, which is based on the series of novels written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the pseudonym James S.A. Corey.

The book series cosnsists of Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate and the soon-to-be-released Cibola Burn.

The Expanse will be an hour long Sc...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Leviathan Wakes broke my reading slump! Listlessly slogging my way through various reads--a couple of which came highly recommended--I was starting to wonder if it I had lost my book love. Then I picked this up for a Book o' the Month read. Expecting a detail dense sci-fi, within the first few pages I found myself hooked, and by page 100, thoroughly reeled in by this hefty genre mash-up. Space opera? Perhaps. Horror? Maybe. Military? Sort of. Mystery in space? Yes, definitely. And if by the end...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
I'm not usually a fan of crime novels or crime noir, whatever you want to call them. I also can't watch CSI or NCIS because even though I acknowledge they are well done, I've even been known to enjoy them on occasion, they tend to be the same cookie-cutter plot.

However, add a little science fiction and the mix can be brilliant as demonstrated in Leviathan Wakes.

Leviathan Wakes (LW) takes place solely in our solar system, which is a rare thing for most SF works it seems and yet it felt just as fu...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Authors foresee lots of trouble between humans making a living (hypothetically) in the asteroid belt of our solar system (or beyond) and those closer to home. Don’t believe me? Check out The Quiet War or Cold as Ice.

As you can see, the themes dealt with in Leviathan Wakes aren’t new. The blurb, drawing parallels with Peter F. Hamilton, is accurate enough, although any number of authors might have been referenced, interchangeably. That said… this book is a strangely rewarding beast, given some pa...more
Becky
Confession Time: I'm very bad at categorizing genres and sub-genres, so it didn't dawn on me that Leviathan Wakes would be considered a "space opera" until I saw it in the genre listing on the book's Goodreads page. I still don't really know what that is (space opera, not a Goodreads page), despite having read the Wikipedia page and stuff. I think of "space opera" and this comes to mind:



Probably not the same thing. But I did realize that my last attempt at reading a "space opera", The Warrior's...more
Penny
I've been hearing good things about this series for a while now and I'm so glad I finally got around to picking it up. What a fantastic start to what I can only imagine will be a great scifi series!

I loved the way the universe was set up, the way we've colonised the solar system but haven't managed to get further due to very practical concerns such as water and air. The political structure is really well set up and makes for a fantastic story.

Most interesting perhaps is the difference between th...more
Jason
5 stars for it delivers everything that you would expect...

I really love space operas, and Leviathan Wakes is a very good one, albeit a light one. This is not a hard science book like an Alastair Reynolds novel, but it is a true space opera in that outer space is one of the main characters.

The story centers around two very different protagonists that each view the world in a very different way. Miller and Holden are both good guys that try and make the world a better place by being the best at...more
Kevin Hearne
After seeing this title on whole bunch of "Best of 2011" lists, I decided to give it a shot. I've been reading a lot more fantasy than sci-fi, so I thought this would be a nice change of pace.

I loved it!

Great characters, flawed heroes, but most of all, believable humans in space. This book never attempts to say that humans can skip across interstellar distances with a magic warp/wormhole/stargate drive. Everything's contained in our own solar system, which is at least plausible. The political fa...more
Alejandro
I have a lot of curiousity about this series since it seemed like a very good option in new sci-fi. I mean, out of the obvious well-known sci-fi space opera books in the market, this "Expanse" series sounded like a good way to read something fresh in the field of sci-fi.

And I was right. I liked the book.

First of all, maybe you already know but anyway, I want to mention that "James S.A. Corey", the author, is a pen name used by two writers that they collaborated to make this book. Daniel Abraham...more
Rob
Executive Summary: This book started off really strong, but fell off a little for me somewhere in the middle, but was still enjoyable from start to finish. It feels sort of like a cross between Deeps Space 9 and Firefly.

Audio book: This is the first book I've listened to read by Jefferson Mays. He does an alright job, but nothing special. He doesn't really do voices or accents that I remember. He speaks clearly and is easy to understand with decent inflection.

Full Review
I started this book thi...more
Apatt
This is the first "inter-solar" space opera I have ever read (or remember reading). The era of the setting is also interesting, neither the near future nor particularly far-flung. This is set at a time where space colonization has been going on for some years but mankind is still restricted to our solar system, intergalactic travels are still a dream, or a science fiction concept. The year is not indicated in the book so my guess is about 100 years from now, 200 tops!

The book is an interesting h...more
David Sven
Fast paced action that's part military scifi, part action/thriller, part detective story, with a touch of horror(non supernatural).

A fast, entertaining, easy read. The plot pacing was good, at no point did I want to put this down and go read something else. In fact I've gone ahead and bought the 2nd book in the series, Caliban's War, to read immediately after. This first book in the series is stand alone so you are not going to be left hanging, but you are left with enough to know that there is...more
Tom Merritt
This to me is perfect scifi. There's enough acknowledgement to reality and physics and tech, and loads of evidence that the writer(s) is(are) a geek (are geeks) that I don't feel put upon with unlikely scenarios. On the other hand it's also not a physics textbook. I like physics textbooks, especially ones with stories, but that's a different choice of reading. When I want fiction, this is what I want. Adventure, differentiated and believable characters tight writing, and mystery that pulls you t...more
Scott Sigler
Well I finally finished this book. And that took some doing, because it's a bruiser, weighing in at 560 pages. I mean, who writes books that long these days?

I really enjoyed it. My favorite part of the book was the setting. The Two Writers Who Together Are Known As "James S.A. Corey" created a space opera that is fully contained in our solar system. There are different governments, cultures, and we are even on the cusp of human speciation as the inner planets square off against the "belters" and...more
Algernon
For once, I think the hype around the launch of a new series is justified. It's true this is not really a new author, I have already read and liked both The Long Price and The Dragon Path by Daniel Abraham. The Expanse looks set to become one of my favorite space opera books.

Humanity has reached the outer limits of our Solar system, colonizing the Moon, Mars, the asteroid belt and the satelites of the outer planets. Yet human nature hasn't changed much with the centuries and this futuristic set...more
Chris
There's a lot going on in this book. Much of it is engaging, some of it surprising and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful. The characters are pretty good. Being sci-fi with a lot going on, it falls into the trap of lots of meandering and metaphyiscal WTF-ery, but for the most part it remains a story about people. People that I cared about.

The last quarter of the book dragged and meandered around enough that I nearly dropped a star, but the ending wrapped up nicely enough and left me satisfied, saving...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This is an excellent book. I'm going to have a couple of negative things to say which accounts for it not getting into the 5 star range, but they're minor.

This is a multilayered story that deals with events on several levels. At base you get a "sort of" mystery story with a bedraggled cop drawn into a missing person's case that turns out to be so much more. It's also a "sort of" first contact story of a rather original type (yes you've probably seen this type of first contact but it's not been d...more
Justin
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com/2...

First of all, I need to give some kudos to Orbit Publishing. I was first exposed to Orbit a few years ago when they released the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks in its entirety over a few months. This strategy provided Weeks with a strong shelf presence and offered reader's an assurance of a completed story arc.

Last week Orbit released The Dragon's Path, Daniel Abraham's highly anticipated first book in a new series. Attached to the end of the eBook ver...more
Alex Ristea
George R.R. Martin call this a "kick-ass space opera", and I have to agree.

Leviathan Wakes started out as a 5 star novel for me, but then became 4 by the end. More on that later.

It takes place relatively recently after humanity became a space-faring species, where we've only expanded to the planets and asteroids in our own solar system.

The little details are what completed this fantastic experience for me—everything from the technology to the culture to how our perceptions change once we start...more
Mark
Early on in this book, I started to feel like I was reading some fusion of Cowboy Bebop and Firefly. I like both of those things, so that's not a bad thing exactly, but it's tough to live up to those two excellent series.

The reason why it's like Bebop is because it has this feel where there's space but it's still mostly focused near to the solar system. It's kinda like Firefly because it adds in that Western aspect (OPA being akin to the Browncoats) while keeping the space flavor. I think the bo...more
Ben Babcock
Well, this concludes my reading of this year’s nominees for the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and I’m struggling to decide which, if any, I should support. Last year The Dervish House hacked my brain and made it an easy choice. This year, not so much. Of all the nominees, however, I think Leviathan Wakes comes closest—it’s certainly the novel I enjoyed the most. ( A Dance with Dragons is probably the second choice, but it just didn’t live up to my expectations.)

Leviathan Wakes has a lot to get exci...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This was the novel I was procrastinating on reading from the Hugo nominee list, and then it was selected for the Sword and Laser pick. I thought I might as well go ahead and read it, dragging my feet a little bit.

I'm not the hugest fan of novels in space.I know that seems strange coming from someone who reads as much science fiction as I do! I just prefer when it is indicative of some greater concept, but this book is more like a mystery or crime novel with the setting of space.

I think the last...more
Myke Cole
At con after con, I've been on panels where we've said that big spaceship/robot SF was dead, and held up eco-SF (like Tobias Buckell's ARCTIC RISING or Paolo Baciagalupi's THE WINDUP GIRL) as examples of the direction we have to move in to keep SF alive and vibrant.

I am thrilled to say that James S.A. Corey has proved me wrong. LEVIATHAN WAKES is part police procedural, part techno-thriller, part military action story, part good old-fashioned space opera, and all awesome. It features flawed, yet...more
Tatjana
Zaista sjajna knjiga! Realni likovi, pregršt geeky podataka, vrlo napete scene, fino protkan humor i veliki potencijal alien inteligencije... Velika preporuka svim SF fanovima!
Eh?Eh!
At some point in the middle, I lost track of the plot. I didn't care because what had distracted me was the characters. While I was struck by the feeling that the cast of Firefly had been thrown into a blender, spun on high, and the resulting bloody pulp poured into molds (er, the charming captain who made trouble but maybe wasn't quite so rebellious, the 1st officer type who was loyal and reliable but maybe wasn't that stoic, the crackerjack pilot who maybe wasn't married to the 1st officer or...more
Ric

I haven't read anything by the two authors who comprise James S.A. Corey, but they can, collaboratively, spin a yarn. In particular, the SF elements of this book rank among the most engaging in recent years, with an escalating sense of wonder that is firmly rooted in "possible" science (as opposed to, say, pure fantasy). The vibe is part Firefly, with an honorable schoolboy captain and his motley crew, and part high-adventure. They traverse the solar system that has established societies on Mars

...more
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  • Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)
  • Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon's Children, #1)
  • Tales From the Clarke (The Human Division, #5)
  • Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga, #1)
  • Gridlinked (Agent Cormac, #1)
  • The Seeds of Earth (Humanity's Fire, #1)
  • The Coldest War (The Milkweed Triptych, #2)
Caliban's War (Expanse, #2) Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3) Cibola Burn (Expanse, #4) The Butcher of Anderson Station (Expanse, #0.5) Gods of Risk (Expanse, #2.5)

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“There's a right thing to do," Holden said.
"You don't have a right thing, friend," Miller said. "You've got a whole plateful of maybe a little less wrong.”
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“Too many dots," Miller said. "Not enough lines.” 16 likes
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