August 15th, 2011, 07:40 PM
Well, I'm up to chapter 10 and I've really skimmed some of the last few, because I just can't seem to get into this book at all. And I have been trying. I keep getting the characters mixed up. I enjoy the Holden ones best, but the Miller ones I find quite tedious.
I just want to get back to what is happening in the prologue, that was REALLY interesting!
I may just skim ahead, find out what that was all about, and find something else to read.
Perhaps space opera is not for me.
August 16th, 2011, 02:27 AM
Hey, now, that's a drastic statement. Leviathan Wakes is just one space opera out of hundreds. I'd recommend Moon's Vatta's War series, but they're a little on the dry side.
Originally Posted by SuzieOz
August 16th, 2011, 03:09 PM
Loerwyn is right: there are tons of space opera books and stories. Please don't give up yet.
August 16th, 2011, 03:16 PM
As Rob saw earlier, I breached page 200 today. Once it starts getting a bit actiony, it begins to get quite interesting. I've also been keeping people's reactions to Miller in mind, and I have to side with the "It makes sense" team. He's lost practically everything (i.e. his job and his work-partner), and it's all he had. Of course he'd dedicate himself to it.
The writing is pretty good., but at times it seems momentarily sloppy. There's a little bit of repetition that could have been edited out.
August 16th, 2011, 06:23 PM
Thanks Loerwyn, a bit drastic perhaps but outer space stuff doesn't do it for me usually. I really LOVE time travel though.
Originally Posted by Loerwyn
August 18th, 2011, 07:32 AM
It was a pretty good read, and one that twisted and turned a fair bit. What starts off as a fairly standard space opera story descends into almost a horror novel, but I did feel it lacked any real terror. It was somewhat grotesque, I'll agree, but I was never scared. Perhaps I wasn't supposed to be. One way I think it could be described is a space opera with a ghost story and light horror. It's not scary, it tries to be unsettling but mostly failed in that regard, but it isn't made bad by those failures as it's still rather icky.
So, the plot? It's quite different to what I'm used to, especially as I'm inexperienced with science fiction, let alone space opera, but it was interesting enough. Holden provided a fairly clear and rational, if a little too goody-two-shoes, viewpoint on the novel's events, and Miller provided the 'bad cop' half of the routine. I can sort of see why some didn't care too much for him, but I felt he was generally a well written character that mostly made sense, although I will agree that his obsession with Julie was perhaps a little too much. I felt the Holden - Miller - Holden - Miller structure of the book worked as it helped keep the pace, but the almost fixed-length of the chapters did cripple the writing a little as it caused the book to jump around a little too much, but there were also a few sections where parts of the plot were repeated due to the change of viewpoint. Some of the events could have benefited from a longer chapter, others from a shorter one. I think I have a similar problem with Abraham's own The Dragon's Path in that the timing doesn't feel right. Leviathan Wakes takes place over the course of about a year, but not once did it feel like that. Aside from Miller's quickly-creepy obsession with Julie and the romance between Holden and another character, it felt like there was little or no character development. Holden at the start was similar to Holden at the end. Amos, Alex and Naomi the same. And talking of them...
The supporting characters were also mostly well written. Naomi worked for me, I think Alex mostly did, but Amos grated with me a little as he seemed to be written more as a stereotypical black character. The way he spoke, the way he acted, it just felt like they'd run out of ideas and needed an ethnic character to spout the F-word every sentence. I'm not saying he was a bad character, because he fitted in well, I just think it was a shame he was written how he was. The Belters also caused a little bit of trouble for me because a lot of their speech was inspired by Spanish and similar languages, which I would say made it harder for me to get the gist of what they were saying. I'm sure a number of American readers won't get that problem, however.
I'm not really sure what else I can say about it. It was a fairly compelling read after the first 100 or so pages, and aside from moments of repetition, wobbly pacing and other minor issues, I enjoyed reading it. It made me laugh a number of times (The term "hide the weasel" had me giggling), and once I was in the final 100 or so pages, I was gripped. I had to know what happened. I had to see it through to the end.
I'd recommend this easily as a Baby's First Space Opera, because it's an easy read that doesn't get bogged down in the science. It's got a likeable and well-rounded cast of characters that keep the story moving well, and I will honestly put my hands up and say I couldn't tell it had been written by two people. Perhaps not the best book of 2011, but certainly one of the better ones.