Leviathan Wakes/THE EXPANSE by Ty Franck & Daniel Abraham, written as James Corey

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by suciul, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    This one is a major sf debut of 2011, due in June from Orbit and it just blew me away; while Mieville and Egan have two of the most highly awaited sf novels for me in a while, Leviathan Wakes is so strong that I easily see it being my top sf of 2011

    Minireview with full review in due course:

    Superlative series debut from the duo Abraham/Franck writing under one pen name; after the excellent The Dragon Path, D. Abraham helps deliver a great hard-sf/solar system adventure with the best world building in its category I've seen in a while and on par with Paul McAuley Quiet War duology. While a lacking the ensemble voice of that superb series and focusing on alternate POV chapters from the two main characters, the novel features a lot of other memorable characters too, though the two main heroes are clearly the stars.

    In a future several centuries ahead with the Solar System led by an an uneasy coalition between 30 billion UN Earth and upstart but with better toys Congressional Mars Republic, the Belt is a varied place under various corporate governance agreements while the native Belters are starting to diverge physically from humanity as well as resent the heavy taxes the Coalition imposes, while the partly underground OPA (Outer Planets Alliance) is actively working for some form of autonomy/independence. Racism flourishes with "inners" tending to suffer accidents in the Belt mini-states whenever out of reach of local authorities, while for some on earth, the Belters are good for mass murder experiments in the name of progress or race - here race being humanity as seen on Earth - that could make even the horrible 20th century ones pale

    A bureaucratic and corporate world on the inner planets and a freewheeling one in the Belt with tensions simmering all the time is brought to a boiling point by a sequence of events that feature heavily one of our heroes, former UN space officer James Holden, an earnest and righteous man whose motto is that everything will be better if everything is known - not unlike recent newsworthy personages and of course with the same end result, though in this case his "leaks" - at large broadcasts - involve considerably more momentous events he witnessed; canned from the UN space force for insubordination, Holden found a place as XO on a huge water-hauler that brings ice-comets from the moons of Saturn to the Belt, especially to Ceres one of the core city-states there with a population of some 7 million, one million of which being transients from the thousands of ships that pass by daily; on such a routine haul, a distress signal requires assistance and despite the old captain misgivings - regarding costs and delays, the inter solar law is strict and XO Holden is strict too, if humans are in danger, they need rescue; he leads a five person team there and what he finds starts changing the big picture forever...

    On Ceres, Belter cop Miller is passing through a rough time in his mid-forties after a bitter divorce and hitting the bottle, being relegated from hotshot star to the one "senior detective" - technically the Ceres cops are the security arm of the corporation governing Ceres which is Earth based, but practically they are the law on Ceres - for disposable partners (like Earth native Havelock who even after 2 years on Ceres is seen as subhuman by most of his colleagues) or s..y jobs that need to be seen as looked at like finding the headstrong daughter of one of the inner family corporations that are shareholder in Ceres, Julie Mao who moved across "lines" to the Belt and the OPa side; though of course Miller does not know he is the "dump on" guy, so he earnestly tries to make Havelock a true partner and as welcome as possible, while also slowly getting to investigate Julie and becoming engrossed by her revealed personality so deciding to find her at all costs; to start though Miller has a problem, the low level mafia guys on Ceres have been disappearing and while for his boss Capt Shaddid, that's not unwelcome, fro Miller it is wearisome since there always will be someone new to take their place...

    And so it starts and it goes on for a long while the novel being one i really did not want to end; great, great characters, action scenes, mysteries, an excellent ending that promises more though being a great stopping point since it offers a complete package too, Leviathan Wakes is as good as sf gets without ftl...

    An A++ an a top 2011 novel, the sequel is a huge asap
     
  2. odo

    odo Registered User

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    I have pre-ordered this one and I'm really looking forward to it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  3. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I managed to acquire an ARC of this and The Dragon Path. Perhaps I'll jump to this one first.
     
  4. beniowa

    beniowa Registered User

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    I automatically buy anything by Daniel Abraham and The Dragon's Path and Leviathan Wakes will be no exception.
     
  5. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    Dragon Path is excellent too - very traditional fantasy - kind of like Way of Kings though with a bit less magic but same feeling - but the top of game at least for me and better by far than WoK since it tells the same amount of story and even arguably more in 500+ pages, not in 1000, so it has bulk but not bloat; I even read the first chapter from the sequel since the arc I got had the usual Orbit extras and I *really* want that sequel since Dragon Path needs it more as a story starter;

    Leviathan Wakes while it is clearly a tbc, it is also a full package on its own, so while the sequel is a big asap too, it is less urgent so to speak
     
  6. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Four chapters in and I concur with Suciul, this is a great novel (so far). Solid characters, good use of science and tech without overloading it and an interesting mix of horror and noir thriller as well as the SFF.
     
  7. oceanworld

    oceanworld Registered User

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    Interesting

    :D Sounds like an interesting read.;)
     
  8. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck)

     
  9. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I finished this last night after blowing through the last 2/3 of the book throughout the day. It started out strong and got progressively better. Terrific read and sure to be a top 10 book for 2011 for me. I'd love to see this shortlisted for an award or two.

    Two words
    VOMIT ZOMBIES, which seem to be influenced by the Red Lanterns of DC Comics.
     
  10. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds like good old fashioned space-romping SF to me. Want a copy!

    Mark
     
  11. Crusader

    Crusader Registered User

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    Definitely very well written and a very entertaining read. For hardcore science fiction fans there's nothing really new [the basic premise has been done by quite a few authors], but the devil is in the details and I like the unique twist they brought.

    I think the rest of the series will be ones to look out for. As it is, this was an excellent debut.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  12. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Can we call it a debut, though? Daniel Abraham has published five books to date under his name alone, and Ty I think has been published in short-form before, so I'm really unsure if it can be classed as a debut.
     
  13. Crusader

    Crusader Registered User

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    Well, it's a debut for them as a writing team. So it's a debut for James S.A Corey. Don't know if that counts though. ;)
     
  14. Rulkez

    Rulkez Registered User

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    I'm about 1/4 into Leviathan Wakes and I doubt I have , or will read anything better this year.
     
  15. hawkeyye

    hawkeyye Registered User

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    Wait till you finish it before you make that call. I felt the same way, but then the last 1/3rd of the book was a bit of a let down for me. Still a good book but the authors were not able to maintain the momentum throughout, imo.
     
  16. Winter

    Winter Dazed Rambler

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    I finished it a while back and while it was not the best book that I have read this year (that is tied between The Tiger's Wife and The Night Circus), it is certainly one of the better ones. Definitely the best SF book that I have read this year.
     
  17. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    finished it. I haven't read many 2011 SF releases, so it really gains the first place in my top reads by default.

    Does anybody else feels that the title is a bit of s spoiler for the ending of the first volume?

    As for influences : I would say Isaac Asimov's Caves of Steel + Naked Sun for the Miller part of the story, plus one of those zombie movies from the 70's for the Eros chapters, only with a casino setting instead of a supermarket. And some Firefly for the crew of the Rocinante.
     
  18. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Not really, but then again I don't even read into titles.
     
  19. kcf

    kcf Nobody in Particular

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    I finally got a (relatively short) review posted for Leviathan Wakes. In general, I liked it and thought it was a good fun book. Though I'm not quite as high on it as many around here. An exerpt is below.


     
  20. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ Registered User

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    Not sure if its still on sale on Amazon, but it was on sale for like $2.99, so if your interested check quick.