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 find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.
©2011 Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
“… kickass space opera.” (George R.R. Martin)
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
This was really modern science fiction, if not quite up there with the best-of-the-best, it was close. Unusually for hard science fiction, the characters were compelling on their own, and had some nice depth to them. Also somewhat unusually, the characters were not scientists or space marines, but rather a mediocre detective and an intra-stellar freight hauler who get pulled deeper and deeper into the solar-system spanning plot of the book.
Though it is revealed in the very start of the story (so, no spoiler here!) that there is a first contact element in the book, for the vast majority of the novel, the action is much more human in nature - politics (both interplanetary and interoffice) and lots of action predominate.
The novel is not the deepest, and I am not entirely sure it adds to the genre or sheds vital insight into the human condition, but there is a lot of fun: murder mysteries, ship-to-ship combat, witty banter, and even old-school horror all make appearances. I'll certainly listen to the next, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it while you wait for more Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, or Iain M. Banks novels to be added to Audible.
Something really needs to happen. I guess it is suppose to be a character drama, but the characters aren't that interesting.
James Corey is a good writer as the prose flows nicely. The problem is nothing seems to happen and there is no action.
Tell us about yourself!
It was a nice listen. I did like the world that the authors evoked (For those who don't know, James S.A. Corey is a pseudonym for 2 authors), and the characters were decent. I don't know that I really cared deeply about them at the end, but the action is so non stop that you get pulled along regardless.
My favorite character is the one who is seen the least amount - Julie
Blockbuster deep space adventure!
I'll definitely download the sequel when it comes out - I hear it's planned for late spring 2012.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
I found Leviathan Wakes interesting and worth a credit, but just not engaging enough that I will buy the sequels. As much as I like sci-fi, I only LOVE it when the other aspects of good fiction are in play - great characters, plot, setting, and strong prose and LW is a little lacking. The plot is pretty interesting and there is a good mystery incorporated into it; the settings are quite vivid. But the strong plot/setting didn't quite make up for the stereotype characters (brash, young rebel and world weary detective), wooden dialog, and rather pedestrian prose for me. Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck working as James S. A. Corey have produced a work that is creditable and reasonably cohesive, but maybe damped them both down a bit; both can actually write with more flare than you see in LW.
The narration and pacing is good, but I still found myself anxious to get to the end because I just didn't care much what happened to these characters. If you enjoy a lot of action sequences (the book includes many scenes of physical fights and spaceship battles), you might find the mundane characters and the stolid prose less problematic.
Say something about yourself!
This is a typical first contact story in many ways, although the mysteries surrounding the alien unfold with interesting twists and turns right up to the end. There are lots of space battles, political intrigue, clever detective work, and solid scientific speculation, all generally well handled. The science is believable, and the social/political backdrop for the story is complex, interesting, and plays an important role in the story. The two authors (Corey is a pseudonym) have crafted two characters each with a point of view on the action as it unfolds (perhaps each author took one of the characters as his alter ego?). They've done this in a way that allows some thoughtful exploration of individual differences in moral perspective on how we might respond to the discovery that there is a vastly older, vastly more sophisticated intelligence out there in the universe. I couldn't quite see my way to giving it five stars because (1) many of the minor characters are indistinguishable in voice and action, (2) too many story elements are cliches -- the evil corporation, navy captain who has a problem with authority, depressive cop traumatized by too many years of seeing the worst of humanity, women who are more manly than the men around them, etc., etc. Nevertheless, the authors manage to bring something original even to many of these cliches, and the overall effect is clever and thoughtful. Even though this is the first book of a planned series, it stands on its own quite well. I will definitely watch for the next book in the series.
I've almost finished book two and so far this is an excellent SF series. The three major powers in this space opera are from Earth, Mars and the outer belt. The Earth/Luna United Nations comprise over 30 billion people. Mars which is in the process of terraforming, has less people but can boast of having the most advanced naval fleet. Finally those in the Outer Planet Alliance are tough adaptable survivors living in a harsh unforgiving environment and they are resentful about being pushed around by their more powerful inner planet cousins.
Our main protagonists are George Millar, a belter policeman and Jim Holden, an officer on an ice freighter. Miller, who has seen better days is given a task to find the runaway daughter of a powerful earther family who is somewhere out in the belt. Holden and a couple of colorful characters survive the destruction of their ship. It is possible the Martian navy had something to do with it and the righteous Holden goes public with accusations that stir up the three major players into a warlike footing.
Things go sideways when the Holden and Millar storylines intersect and they discover the missing girl out on Ceres station. It is here where something quite alien and terrifying is thrown into the mix.
I'm very curious if the video adaptation will do justice to the nightmare my imagination was prodded into producing when experiencing my first taste of the alien replicator molecule. It is being ruthlessly developed by an Earth based company. This life form may have been sent to our solar system in an attempt to hijack our evolution thousands of years ago.... but they missed. Unfortunately we developed space traveling technology and found it
Maybe mankind shouldn't be experimenting with toys he doesn't understand.
Sy Fy has committed to ten episodes and the first one is already available as part of the Expanse digital series going straight to TV. If you are like me, you will want to first listen to this book and then move on to the see if a TV series is up to the challenge. Personally I'm happy this is not going to be all crammed into a two hour movie.
Go ahead - get the first book and step out into the Expanse.
Somewhat imaginative story, with some weak points exacerbated by overly articulated, flat narration.
Jefferson Mays is a little too polished and proper for my liking. More professional elocutionist than storyteller or actor, as I've become accustomed to on audible. I cringed every time he said the words comfortable or uncomfortable, which the author sometimes used three times in the same paragraph...I think most people say something more like uncomfturble than uncomfort-able, which is all Jefferson's professional training will allow him to say, regardless of which character is speaking the words.
Also, other than the pidgin or spanish or non-american accents, the characters seemed to run together for me. I tried to figure out while I was listening if I would've felt the same about the characters if I had read them in my own mind, or if they were written that flat, and decided it was probably a bit of both.
It was worth listening to if you've already listened to everything by Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, and Iain banks, and narrated by John Lee, and you also happen to have remaining Audibel credits burning a hole in your e-wallet.
I agree with others about the physics problems, cliche conversations and one-liners...might've been willing to overlook the science or lack thereof if it was more entertaining, funny or had a better plot. When I read the authors I've mentioned above I'm constantly wondering how they come up with the complex universes, social, political and economic entanglements that they do. With this one I was thinking....maybe I can be a writer after all?
I love scifi of all flavors but the characters were cheesy caricatures...the plot was uninspired and overall it was predictable. The dialog was just bad... Like something a 10th grader would right.
Monotone voice actor, characters that don't get a full character, frequent changes in scenes and 2 hours in I still have no clue what this book is about.
I may not be the subject for this story. The synopsis sounds good, but I keep falling asleep listening to this. There's nothing that keeps me engaged in the story so far.
Get someone with voice afflictions and the ability to put some drama and life into the story.
Don't know - didn't get to a scene I would keep yet ....
Can't win them all.
My taste vary. I love a good, blood stained horror, but also a well written kids story. Lots of Sci-Fi, but also Hist. Fiction. No boring!!!
Actually, that would be 10:00 Central Time where I live. All my life I have listened to the news (local and National). Even when I was a kid. I like to know what is going on in the world. Since it is a real world that I live in.
This book is not terrible, it is not even that badly written. To me it reads like a news cast. I find that I am not that interested in a news cast of a made up future universe. I also find that this is the sort of thing that happens when you have two authors. It seems to take the personal touch out of it. As you probably know, James S.A. Corey is Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
This is not as hard as most Alastair Reynolds books, and not as simple as B.V. Larson. It is sort of in the middle. Many have given it a good review and most ratings are four or five stars, but for me to be honest, I have to say I could not get in to it.
Narrator sounds like any average newscaster.
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