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Leviathan Wakes

(The Expanse #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  121,666 ratings  ·  9,185 reviews
James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to ...more
Kindle Edition, 579 pages
Published June 15th 2011 by Orbit (first published June 2nd 2011)
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Glee I'm reading along and watching the TV show at the same time. Good book, good TV. I like having the book fill in the background more, but think the TV…moreI'm reading along and watching the TV show at the same time. Good book, good TV. I like having the book fill in the background more, but think the TV show can stand on its own. Best thing I've seen on Syfy in a while.(less)
Brian This is the first novel in the series and, having just finished it, can confirm that it can be read standalone with no further commitment to the…moreThis is the first novel in the series and, having just finished it, can confirm that it can be read standalone with no further commitment to the series. I am planning on reading the next book very soon though; I enjoyed this first story very much.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  121,666 ratings  ·  9,185 reviews

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Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
I got nobody to blame but myself for this….

I’ve had a long-standing policy that I will not read an unfinished sci-fi/fantasy series because I spent over a decade waiting for a certain master of horror to get off his ass and finish what he started. Plus, I have no urge to join the ranks of fans of other fantasy writers who seem to spend more time coming up with excuses and side projects rather than producing new books to finish their on-going series.

Ignorance isn’t a good defense, but it’s all I
mark monday
Sep 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Here's another Jessica quirk: I LOVE sci-fi on screen, but I rarely like reading it. I have no idea why. Some things just are.

BUT. I binge-watched The Expanse last week, and it was good enough that it made me curious. There were no giant-insects-as-aliens, no surplus of tech gobbledygook, and no discernible artificial intelligence (the things that make me avoid sci-fi literature, even though I can usually handle the movie version), and what there was was mysteriously m
Jeffrey Keeten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina - Traveling Sister
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dpl
4, turns out husbands CAN be right sometimes stars!!!

This review along with a recipe for Mariner Valley skillet lasagna is now featured on my blog Recipe & a Read:

So lets start this one off with the truth: I'm not a sci-fi fan. I don't dislike sci-fi but I have a hard time with it and it tends to get bogged down for me. But, that's neither here nor there because I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Let us begin:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, fa....nope
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of light sci-fi
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
J.L.   Sutton
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story and the world (Mars, the asteroid belt between Earth and Mars, Earth, various mining stations) depicted in Leviathan Wakes. The setting and overall atmosphere of this near-future thriller has a noir feel to it (which only becomes more evident with the appearance of Detective Miller and his investigation into the missing Julia Mao). At times, you feel like you're reading a pulp crime detective novel in the spirit of Raymond Chandler, but Leviathan Wakes does more than answer q ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought it was great and sad!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

Leviathan Wakes is a joint venture of Daniel Abraham, writer of the Long Prince Quartet and The Dagger and the Coin series, and Ty Franck, George R.R. Martin’s former assistant and science fiction writer. They are writing under the pen name James S.A. Corey.

This is the first installment of The Expanse series which, at this point, has seven novels already published which means two things; the series is very successful and I’m very late to this party.

I did some research an
A fair option of new science-fiction book series.


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 us
Richard Derus
Real Rating: 2.5* of five
**UPDATE 23 October 2018** The Kindle edition is a whopping $2.99! Even *I* would buy it at that price...if I hadn't already read it.

**UPDATE 24 JUNE 2018** I love the series, now in its third season, a lot. I was delighted to see the folks at Amazon Prime Video will give it a fourth season. But this video presents a really good reason why the book is good. (I'm not a fan, but the podcaster makes a really case for it.)

**UPDATE 22 December 2016** This is a mea-culpa of ep
Re-read 7/1/18:

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?

Pure love.

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.

Original Review:

Fantastic Space-Opera! I didn't know what to expect when I picked
3.5ish stars.

Good, old-fashioned outer space sci-fi. It's obviously influenced by the old-school greats, and if I'm being honest, doesn't add a lot of novelty to the genre, but it broke me out of a deadly reading slump for which I'll be forever grateful. Who knew such a chunkster could be such a fast read?

There's some awesome world-building going on, particularly the disparity between the inner and outer planets, and the differences in physiology of their respective inhabitants. The tension betw
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
Dan Schwent
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 2018-books
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 orig
Edit: demoting this to 3 stars because the 4th simply hasn’t been sitting right with me and has generally been haunting my dreams.

I’d describe this novel as ‘extremely okay’. It’s well-written, has plenty of heartwarming and funny moments, likeable characters (for the most part) and plenty of action and intrigue from the get-go as well as consistently throughout. I can absolutely see why they made this into a TV show (which influenced me to read this in the first place), BUT... there’s somethin
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
3.75 - This space opera meets crime noir is a great start to a series I'm looking forward to continuing!
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of the Expanse novels, a fantastic world building space opera.

Set in a future where the solar system has been colonized, the furthest planets – outside the asteroid belt is culturally separated from the inner planets. Mars has become a system wide power.

The authors (James S.A. Corey is the pen name for two collaborators) have done an exceptional job at imagining and describing a post-colonization universe where the technical demands of deep space exploration and colonization, and t
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After watching the TV show enthusiastically, it was only a matter of time before I had to pick up the book series as well, I guess.

This first novel opens up to a colonized Solar system. Humanity has spread to the Moon, Mars, and the Belt, with the furthermost settled region to be around Uranus even. However, as is to be expected, no matter where humanity goes, its problems follow. Thus, Earth and Mars are two competing superpowers with an uneasy alliance while the Belters are the somewhat oppres
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
5 "blinded me with science" stars!

I'll write a full review when I have time to really put all my thoughts together. But right now I can say this is one of my favorite science fiction novels ever!

I absolutely loved the way the science of this universe was incorporated into this story. From the way people had different body types based on the different rates of gravity of their worlds, to how the various types of spacecraft all worked in unique ways, the science was very well established and adde
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melki by: The Unholy Trinity - Tom, Dirk and Algernon
This is one of the many reasons why having Goodreads friends is so awesome.

I would have never read, much less even heard of this book had it not been for some GRs buddies with impeccable taste. And believe me, it took some coaxing to get me to read a 560 page space odyssey.

It's a real page-turner, they said, and indeed, it was. You'll fly through it in no time, I was told, and indeed, I would have, had I not picked one of the busiest weeks of my life to read it. This book should ideally be read
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was so far outside my comfort zone that I am not all that sure how to review the book. I did enjoy it (for the most part) and I am planning on continuing with the series but I had some issues with parts of it.

This is relatively hard science fiction compared to some other books in the genre I have read and I have to admit that some of the rather drawn-out descriptions of life in the Belt and of galactic war did make my eyes glaze over. I am not very good at visualising fighting scenes; and m
Scott  Hitchcock
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: expanse, sci-fi, 5-stars
Once again Daniel Abraham, IE James S.A Corey delivers in a big way. It's amazing how his writing changes to fit the genre and yet stays the same in delivering the human elements and subtlety that I love so much.

This book is so multi layered encompassing space opera, detective thriller mystery, military combat, a potential dystopian pandemic......and yet it's the characters that drive the story. Their little personality quirks, childhood traumas coming back, parental issues, relationship scars
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
*** 4.25 ***

A buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reading Group! Because at times Sci-Fi is just what the Doctor ordered:)

This was much better than I expected. I am not sure why all the positive reviews and the blurbs did not give me much confidence, but I am very happy to be proven wrong. The writing is top-notch. It is stripped of embellishments and very reminiscent of the old Pulp-Noir of the first half of the 20th century and as such, I am a big fan:) It reeks of testosterone and is a bit vag
[4.5 Stars] Ugh, I absolutely loved this one. It got half a star knocked off because I felt like the women in the book were really just there because they were love interests. I wanted something a bit more. I think we will get that, but still I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH OH MY GOODNESS. Miller, Miller... I just can't.
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It had been a while since I'd read a straight-up space opera sci fi, so I gave it a try and loved it.

I especially liked the scope of the novel, which is set a few centuries in the future, when humanity has colonized much of the solar system but still has not reached the stars (or found alien life). Sadly, human politics and jingoism haven't changed much. Earth and Mars are in an uneasy alliance, and the humans living out on the asteroids of "the Belt" feel like exploited colonists. A fringe grou
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
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The Expanse (9 books)
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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.”
“What kind of half-assed apocalypse are they running down there?” Amos said. “Give ’em a break. It’s their first.” 71 likes
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