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

Leviathan Wakes

(The Expanse #1)

by
4.26  ·  Rating details ·  159,626 ratings  ·  11,346 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, 577 pages
Published June 15th 2011 by Hachette Book Group (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 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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  159,626 ratings  ·  11,346 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Leviathan Wakes (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 exhausti ...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 su
...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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Started during my "One Week, One Shelf" reading challenge. So far I'm intrigued! I can't wait to try the show too!
Petrik
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Light sci-fi & space opera readers
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
...more
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.
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
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
Matthew
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Gary K Bibliophile
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:

"NOUN

informa
...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, fa....nope, wr
...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
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 a
...more
Daniel Greene
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
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
...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 nam
...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
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
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 betw
...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
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 somethin
...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 adde
...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 orig
...more
Samantha
3.75 - This space opera meets crime noir is a great start to a series I'm looking forward to continuing!
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 oppres
...more
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 t
...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 vag
...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)
  • Dune (Dune, #1)
  • The Martian
  • The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1)
  • The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
  • All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
  • Starship Troopers
  • Foundation (Foundation, #1)
  • Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1)
  • Children of Time (Children of Time #1)
  • Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)
  • Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)
  • Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1)
  • Snow Crash
  • Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
  • Pandora's Star
  • 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)

Articles featuring this book

Dystopias, alien invasions, regenerated dinosaurs, space operas, multiverses, and more, the realm of science fiction takes readers out of this ...
143 likes · 205 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.”
118 likes
“What kind of half-assed apocalypse are they running down there?” Amos said. “Give ’em a break. It’s their first.” 88 likes
More quotes…