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Leviathan Wakes

(The Expanse #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  226,090 ratings  ·  15,432 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 serie…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)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(2.5) Need to watch the tv show because damn, I'm disappointed.

The moon itself - Phoebe - filled the frame, turning slowly to show all sides like a prostitute at a cheap brothel.

"But you did this for what?.."
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
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leviathan Wakes was so good; a character-driven space-opera that combines sci-fi, noir, mystery, and a slice of horror into one.

I’ve watched only the first season and a few episodes of the second season, but it was enough to make me want to read all the available books in the series first before continuing with the TV series again. Seriously, amazing movies/TV adaptations boost book sales exponentially more than anything else in the world, and I do believe that The Expanse by James S. A. Corey h
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
Jeffrey Keeten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought it was great and sad!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
J.L.   Sutton
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“What kind of half-assed apocalypse are they running down there?” Amos said. “Give ’em a break. It’s their first.”

James S A Corey,

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 becomes more evident with the appearance of Detective Miller and his investigation into the missing Julia Mao). At times, you feel like you're readin
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019, 2020
Welcome to 2020! My first book finished this year (kind of cheating since I started it in 2019)

This book is very epic . . . and it is only the beginning.

Leviathan Wakes is book one of The Expanse series. I have seen it described as a space opera. I was not quite sure the definition of space opera - although I have seen it used many times and even read a book with that title. So, I decided to use the ol' Google machine on my internet device and this is what I came up with:

From Oxford:


Daniel B.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scifi is meant to awe its readers while expanding their minds. Leviathan Wakes accomplished both while also incorporating many elements from other genres almost entirely successfully. I am beginning to believe more and more due to stories like this that the best days of scifi are not dead. Yes, Asimov is no longer crafting his nearly perfect stories, but the genre itself continues to grow and experiment. That kind of experimentation has given us this scifi epic and I am extremely happy to experi ...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
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
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
Christina - Recipe & a Read
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: https://recipeandaread.wordpress.com/...

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, wr
Jun 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The Expanse - 1: I don't even know where to begin with this planets' spanning space opera set in a deeply detailed future reality where man is split into three co-dependant but opposing civilisations; there's Earth, Luna, Venus and numerous space stations; there's Mars, its colonies and numerous outposts; and politically between these powerhouses, and the farthest from the sun are the space resident Belters who live, and more so work, all over the Asteroid belt, on some of the asteroids, space s ...more
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 a
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
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
5.0 Stars
Video Review: https://youtu.be/TwrwVfmZPeA
Spoiler Discussion: https://youtu.be/08TaOvk1z1s

I absolutely loved this first novel in the The Expense series. This could be a case of reading the right book and at the right time, but Leviathan Wakes has officially earned a place on my favourites shelf. When I started Leviathan Wakes,I was craving a long, absorbing scifi space opera and the book completely delivered.

Despite the length, I read this book very quickly, picking up the book whenever
Richard Derus
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled
Okay, I admit it. I was wrong. It's a solid 3-plus star read. Not quite a four, there are a few focus issues...extended time spent in Eros's casino level, f/ex...where the point gets made a bit harder than is good for the story. But my dismissive early review is wrong.

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
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 nam
Ahmad Sharabiani
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1), James S.A. Corey, Ty Franck

Leviathan Wakes (2011) is a science fiction novel by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. It is the first book in the Expanse series, followed by Caliban's War (2012), Abaddon's Gate (2013), Cibola Burn (2014), Nemesis Games (2015), Babylon's Ashes (2016), Persepolis Rising (2017), Tiamat's Wrath (2019) and ....

Humanity has colonized the solar system: Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond, but the stars
Mario the lone bookwolf
This is something special because it is one the first great space operas that got transformed into a magnificent TV series and there are so many other jewels waiting to be adapted. In the best case with enough time to put all the details from the books in the series. It quite kind reminds me of Game of Thrones too, where there are these two worlds of the books and the series with their own fandoms and beef and the books are much better, thank you! A similar writing method, escalating, different ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
3.75 - This space opera meets crime noir is a great start to a series I'm looking forward to continuing! ...more
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
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Other books in the series

The Expanse (9 books)
  • Caliban's War (The Expanse, #2)
  • Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse, #3)
  • Cibola Burn (The Expanse, #4)
  • Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5)
  • Babylon's Ashes (The Expanse, #6)
  • Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7)
  • Tiamat's Wrath (The Expanse, #8)
  • Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9)

Articles featuring this book

  Would you like to get lost in space? Explore a magical kingdom? Get caught up in the drama of murderous robots? Well, my fellow readers,...
107 likes · 31 comments
“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.” 111 likes
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