Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey – Review

Cover- Leviathan Wakes

Published: June 2, 2011

Publisher: Orbit

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 561 (Paperback)

My Rating: 3.0/5.0



Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

After procrastinating and pondering for months, I finally decided to try out Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). This seemed to be almost a must-read science fiction series and it was even made into a television series (The Expanse on SyFy), so I figured that I must be missing out on something. I listened to the audio version of this because I am literally at the point where I’m having trouble fitting in actual reading of books that weren’t sent to me for review. It gave me twenty-some-odd hours of entertainment at work, so that was pretty great.

Leviathan Wakes is a story of political intrigue, biological warfare, corruption, and spaceships. It’s a little bit of a crime novel, political thriller, and space opera, with no single element taking the forefront. The story begins with immediate action. A vessel called the Scopuli is boarded by a stealth ship with no apparent affiliation and the crew captured and killed. All except Julie, who is stuffed into a locker. The distress signal sent out from the Scopuli is responded to by an ice hauler called the Canterbury. The Canterbury is where we will find James Holden, an Earther and one of the central cogs in this machine of a story. From this point onwards, the story becomes exceedingly complex and somewhat perturbing and introduces many other characters.

James Holden, his crewmates Naomi, Alex, and Amos, and the police detective Miller are a diverse bunch. These five come from Earth, Mars, and the Belt which lends them a diverse and gives the reader some inside social and political knowledge that would have otherwise been thrown at us in an info-dump manner. I like Holden and Naomi the best, but to be honest all the characters began to grate on my nerves by the end of the book. Miller had an unhealthy obsession with Julie Mao, the girl from the Scopuli and the girl Miller was told to find and bring back to Earth prior to the flare up of tensions between the inner planets and the belt.

Overall, I liked Leviathan Wakes, but was a little bored by the end. The plot and events were certainly interesting, but I felt like things slowed down towards in the latter part of the book and I just wanted it to be over.  Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this book, but as of right now I won’t be continuing the series in the near future. It was certainly well written and the characters were all pretty unique, so it’s not like it was bad or even mediocre, it’s just not for me.

4 thoughts on “Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey – Review

  1. Sorry to hear how it slowed down for you! I wasn’t sure I was going to continue this series when I finished, but I’m glad I did. The books do get better and better, and now this is one of my favorite series ever!


  2. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as others, but I do feel better knowing others had the same reaction to it that I did. After finishing it, I have never had any desire to go back for more. Just can’t find any motivation to pick up the next installment.


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