Narrator: Jefferson Mays
Series: Expanse #1
Published by Recorded Books on June 15, 2011
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Length: 19 hours, 10 minutes
James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli.
Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.
I received the ebook from Tor in a nifty program they have called book of the month club. It seems to have freebies of older award winners, often the first book in the series. Perfect since this is where I want to start and from their perspective, it gets me hooked on a series or author.
But I preferred to try the audiobook which was available at the library. I discovered this is a very popular space opera series which is now a TV show on syfy called The Expanse. I watched the first episode and it follows the book closely, except for the character’s physical looks. It looks like each season is one book. Since it follows the book, it starts out very slow; it would take awhile to get into it.
Leviathan Wakes is the beginning of the Expanse series with so far 9 books projected and 6 books published. The feel is old school science fiction with a space opera setting with some military aspects. The primary players are Earth, Mars, “the belt” and the aliens. There are also activists who sometimes act like terrorists and business corporations. This was published in 2011 and got some awards.
The story is told in the point of view of two main characters, both male, Holden and Miller. Their views alternate every other chapter. In some, they are not together geographically and in a few they are. The men’s lives connect somewhere in the middle. Holden is an idealist, used to succeeding with his pretty looks and thrown into leadership here by circumstances. Miller has been law enforcement his whole life but has been going through the motions somewhat since his divorce. I found Holden annoying and kind of self-righteous. I like and admired Miller despite his faults.
Jefferson Mays was wonderful in the narration. He really brought the emotion and personality of the characters forth. He made it easy to tell who was speaking with distinct voices. I especially appreciated the way the humor was handled.
This is one long book. There are politics, space adventures and battles, and mysteries to solve. The underlying layer is about what is right or wrong, and who is good or evil. Relationships, beliefs and intelligence are important factors along with the personalities and skills of the characters. I was scared for them at times. While this is heavier than my normal read in tone, I enjoyed it and hope to read or listen further.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Anne: 2017 Audiobook Challenge
- Anne: 2017 Library Love Challenge