Book Reviews

Book Review: Leviathan Wakes



Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (who is really two separate writers: Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (I’d like to link something for Mr. Franck, but I can’t seem to find any offical website or bio for him) presents itself as an epic space opera. I found it to be more of a mediocre science fiction that wanted to be a detective noir (not saying the mixture of the two is a bad thing). The story starts out strong, but begins to drag as you get deeper into the book. I was quite pleased to see that the authors made efforts to portray space in a realistic manner, but their attention to detail wasn’t enough to buoy up the rest of the book. If you’re a fan of science fiction, I’d feel safe telling you to read this one with caution; otherwise I’d just avoid it. I will not be picking up the second book in the series.

The Bad:

  1. The ending of the book did not come soon enough. Once or twice throughout the telling of the story, I felt strongly that the book should have been over. A climax was hit, a major problem was resolved, and everything had coalesced in such a manner that it felt like a good spot to end the book. But the book kept going, and going. I probably would have given up on the story if my fiance hadn’t already read it and told me that I was near the end every time I began bitching.
  2. The further into the book I got, the more ridiculous things became. I felt like characters started jumping off the rails that they had stuck to for the previous sections of book and I felt like the story kept going just to spite me.  This was especially disappointing because the book began strong, but slowly and surely declined to the point that finishing the book was a real chore for me.

The Good:

  1. One of the things that Leviathan Wakes does very well is portray some of the realities of space travel that are frequently overlooked. These things are all what I would consider to be smaller details that don’t affect the overall telling of the story (aside from some of the limitations that they place on the characters), but I did really appreciate that Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck took things like accelerational gravity, vacuum, and zero G into account when they were telling their story.
  2. The hook at the beginning of the book was more than sharp enough to catch me and make me want dive into the world of the story.

The Meh:

  1. The characters were written well enough to be at least a little interesting if you can ignore the cookie cutter molds that they each so perfectly fill. The alcoholic ex-cop, the noble captain, his sexy-and-smart-second-in-command, the brash-but-lovable mechanic, the mad machiavellian scientist; the list goes on and on.


Humanity has spread far into our own solar system, populating almost every half-hospitable heavenly body, including a number of large asteroids. One would think that in order to achieve this level of success humanity would need to come together, united under a single banner, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The relationships between, Earth, Mars, and the Belters that inhabit the outer reaches of our solar system are tenuous as best, each group’s hunger for power over the others is only kept in check by fear of the hopeless war that any act of aggression could spark. Follow a burnt-out detective, a reluctant ships captain, and his crew as they do everything within their power to stop a civil war and expose the sinister plot it.


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