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  1. #1
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    Leviathan Wakes/THE EXPANSE by Ty Franck & Daniel Abraham, written as James Corey

    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. #2
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    I have pre-ordered this one and I'm really looking forward to it.
    Last edited by odo; January 26th, 2011 at 11:32 AM.

  3. #3
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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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. #4
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    I automatically buy anything by Daniel Abraham and The Dragon's Path and Leviathan Wakes will be no exception.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by beniowa View Post
    I automatically buy anything by Daniel Abraham and The Dragon's Path and Leviathan Wakes will be no exception.
    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. #6
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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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. #7
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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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.


    Leviathan Wakes is not hard SF, but it does feel for the most part like a reasonable possibility. Humanity and its flaws don’t change, they just change location. However the feel of the society at times rubbed me the wrong way – it feels like things are now. I find it hard to believe that society would seem so similar, in spite of few things clearly inserted to try and make things feel advanced – such as the family of Holden, which is a family of multiple ‘parents’ living together in a sort of communal setting and raising a single child (this is also pretty much the only family structure mentioned in the book).

    Of course the most topical aspect of the book that you’ll either love or hate are the zombies. Yes, there are indeed space zombies in Leviathan Wakes – or as the they say in the book, vomit zombies. It’s not a cheesy as I make it sound and it’s actually rather interesting, however for some insane reason I couldn’t help but think of ‘space herpes’ from the 1980s SF movie, The Ice Pirates – which really has no resemblance, but that’s how my mind rolls. But there is quite a memorable scene as Holden and Miller flee from legions of vomit zombies while suffering the effects of acute radiation poisoning.

    In my opinion what is more interesting and much more successful are the political and personal interplay between various characters and factions. The trust, lack of trust, bad judgment, idealism, obsessive devotion and conflicted loyalty show the flawed human spirit in action.

  8. #8
    Not sure if its still on sale on Amazon, but it was on sale for like $2.99, so if your interested check quick.

  9. #9
    The Enigmatic Paradox ColdSun's Avatar
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    Leviathan Wakes - Questions *spoilers?*

    I've been trying to read Scifi again, and started reading this book. So far I like it, but I'm curious about something:

    Spoiler:
    Is this a political thriller with Scifi elements or are is there an alien threat looming somewhere? I guess I've read so many different genre political thrillers lately and don't know if I want to waste my time on something less scifi. Tell me I'm wrong and there is some aliens or robots coming soon...


    Thanks for any information!

  10. #10
    The Enigmatic Paradox ColdSun's Avatar
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    Never mind. I see the light!

  11. #11

    Leviathan Wakes

    Just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Good characters and well written dialogue.

    http://www.amazon.com/Leviathan-Wake...eviathan+wakes

    My only complaint would be the ending seemed rushed, but otherwise, it hooked me from the beginning and had nice cliffhangers at each chapter to keep you going. I'm already on to his next in the series, Caliban's War.

  12. #12
    Its a good book and i really liked it but prepare to be disappointed by the sequel

  13. #13
    Don't tell me any more. I'm currently reading it.

  14. #14
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    I actually joined this board to ask for recommendations similar to Altered Carbon, and Gridlinked, but now that I am halfway done with Leviathan Wakes, I guess my new question is.: Can anyone recommend me books similar to Altered Carbon, Gridlinked, or Leviathan Wakes? It is very different than the other books, but I am enjoying it just as much.

  15. #15
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    I am not sure if this is old news, but it is new to me, but I just read that the Leviathan Wakes series is going to be 6 books long, which is good news. I also read that James S.A. Corey is going to release a Star Wars book that takes place between episodes 4 and 5. I have never read a Star Wars book, but I have often thought about it. One problem I had was I didn't know where to start. Well now I have my answer. Seems like a safe place for me to start being that I already like the author, and it takes place in between my 2 favorite movies of the series.

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