Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)
by James S.A. Corey, Jefferson Mays (Narrator)
Re-read, because I just watched season 5 of The Expanse on TV and felt the urge to refresh my memory. And to maybe immerse myself more deeply again, before the last book comes out. I doubt I will manage to get through all of the books until then, but it will be fun either way.
There is definitely a difference. The first time around I read the ebook, now I am listening to the audiobook. This time around I have the visuals from the TV adaptation in my head, which didn‘t exist back then. Especially Miller is a much stronger presence, because I am a Thomas Jane fan.
First time around I found Holden to be very naive and it bothered me, how clueless he seemed to be about his transmissions into the void and how they affected the world at large. Now I wasn‘t half as bothered, because I know what happens later.
I am still pretty happy with this as a starting point for a really excellent space opera series with very well thought out world building. Jim, Naomi, Amos, Alex, Bobbie and Avasarala will stay with me for a very long time.
My review of the 1st read in 2017 (ebook):
„Living on the surface of a planet, mass sucking at every bone and muscle, and nothing but gravity to keep your air close, seemed like a fast path to crazy.“
Excellent world building! By chapter four I was reading up on the solar system, inner and outer planets, the asteroid belt, dwarf planets… well-done sci-fi, without going too hardcore. And some crime noir thrown in…
“You are under arrest for the murder of that lady over there, whoever the hell she is. You are not required to participate in questioning without the presence of an attorney or union representative, and if you so much as look at me wrong, I’ll space you. Do we understand each other?”
I like Miller, a disillusioned cop on a moon in the belt, he is an engaging character. POV alternates between him and Holden, a naive and blue-eyed XO on a water hauler. At first glance this is a mix of crime novel, colony politics and military SF / space opera. But the plot takes it many different places. From disillusioned cop to Alien horror story to submarine-like space battles. Fun, fun, fun.
The other characters populating this book were just as entertaining. Alex and Amos could always sign up with the circus, if being space pirates doesn’t work out in the end.
“Goddamn, Boss, I’d give my left nut for food that didn’t look like a dildo,” Amos said, then tapped his food against Naomi’s in mock toast.
Excellent stuff. Imaginative, twisty plot, swamped with fully realized settings that could have filled several books. Great character development. Good humour and dialogue, interesting concepts and ideas, all around excellent book.
Extra points for quoting Dune! Now move along and find a review that does a much better job at describing this book than I could… Meanwhile I will find myself a copy of the next book in the series and maybe try to rustle up the TV adaptation.