Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)” as Want to Read:
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leviathan Wakes

(The Expanse #1)

by
4.26  ·  Rating details ·  144,027 ratings  ·  10,418 reviews
Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond.
Paperback, 592 pages
Published May 3rd 2012 by Orbit (Hachette) (first published June 2nd 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Leviathan Wakes, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  144,027 ratings  ·  10,418 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)
unknown
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 ...more
Felicia
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
...more
Kemper
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
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 ...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
...more
Christina - Traveling Sister
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,
...more
carol.
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 ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought it was great and sad!!



Mel
...more
Samir
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
...more
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
...more
Alejandro
A fair option of new science-fiction book series.


FRESH SCIENCE FICTION

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
...more
Matthew
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Gary K Bibliophile
Shelves: 2019, sci-fi, 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:

"NOUN

...more
Bradley
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
...more
Science (Fiction) Nerd Mario
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
Philip
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
...more
Coffee&Quasars
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
...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
Dan Schwent
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Samantha
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!
Lyn
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
...more
Trish
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
...more
Melki
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
...more
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
RTC.
Had a great and relaxed Buddy Read with Cassie.

I am still processing the end.

My Thoughts as I Read:
Prologue:
Wow, that was so intense. What the hell was done to Captain Darren? Did he die? Who were the captors and why did they leave?

Chapter 1: Holden
(view spoiler)
...more
Choko
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
...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Edmond Hamilton meets E.E. "Doc" Smith in the 21st century, but in a bad way.

Do you all remember Smith's book about an evil planet of evil naked lesbians who only needed the love of a few good men to become nice ladies? This is almost as bad.

This novel should have been called "Firefly - the book". Holden is Malcolm Reynolds minus the charm and backstory. The crew also has a strong resemblance to the crew of the Firefly:

1 - Amos, a big, dumb weapons guy who talks a lot = Jayne (from Firefly);
2 -
...more
Hannah
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...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
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)
  • Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1)
  • The Martian
  • Dune (Dune, #1)
  • The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
  • Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1)
  • The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1)
  • Starship Troopers
  • Foundation (Foundation, #1)
  • All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
  • Snow Crash
  • Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)
  • Pandora's Star
  • The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)
  • Children of Time (Children of Time #1)
  • Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1)
  • Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
  • Consider Phlebas (Culture #1)
See similar books…

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)
  • Untitled (The Expanse, #9)
“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.”
110 likes
“What kind of half-assed apocalypse are they running down there?” Amos said. “Give ’em a break. It’s their first.” 80 likes
More quotes…