Review: Leviathan Wakes

Series: The Expanse: #1

Structurally, Leviathan Wakes is an interesting novel. It’s science fiction / space opera but also has fairly strong threads of crime novel / horror / military scifi threading through it as well. It’s an interesting mix and done well.

Characterwise, we follow Holden and Miller. Holden is initially second in command on an ice trawler who cares about people to a fault. He wants people to know the truth, even if doing so might cause even more problems than it solves. Miller on the other hand is an older cop on a space station. He’s had a hard life among the more criminal elements of society which leaves him with a somewhat less rosy opinion on humanity. The contrast between the two of them drives the story, especially as things really start going wrong.

Negatively, Miller’s obsession with Julie went from an interesting character concept to downright creepy, especially when hallucinations start in. Likely, that was intentional on the part of the authors, in which case: well played.

The worldbuilding was interesting. First, it’s near future science fiction with nothing particularly breaking the rules of fiction. That gives it a feeling of something we very well could see in a few hundred years. Earth and Mars as the big powers in the solar system with other colonies scattered throughout the Belt and the outer planets. On top of that, people have actually adapted to their environments, with Belters longer and thinner because of the different gravity. It’s cool worldbuilding all around.

On top of that, vomit zombies. Without going into too much detail, we have direct evidence that there is life outside of our solar system and it seems rather intent on killing–or at least reprogramming–everything that isn’t them. Eesh.

Overall, a solid book. I’m glad I read it, putting off the new TV series until I had. I can’t wait to see how it transfers to the screen.