Leviathans of Jupiter takes what made Jupiter so enjoyable (the exploration of the oceans of Jupiter and interactions with the creatures that live there) and takes another visit. This time around, we have even more content from the Leviathan’s perspective and first attempts at actually communicating with them, which is pretty cool.
While the science is cool, the characters and drama isn’t quite as strong as Jupiter. Grant Archer is still around and in charge now, which is an interesting point. We also get more of Dorn, finding his way out after the Asteroid War. He’s been through quite a lot and it’s interesting seeing his point of view, especially since he’s fairly unique in this universe in being a cyborg.
Unfortunately, the rest of the characters aren’t great. New main character Dierdre Ambrose doesn’t seem terribly bright for a scientist. And her miraculous ability at telepathically communicating with dolphins (with SCIENCE!) doesn’t end up being nearly as useful as it should have been (especially when that’s her reason for being on the mission in the first place). And she ends up being surrounded by a pack of men who follow her around like a gang of teen boys. And then there’s the villain Westfall– somewhat stereotypical of Bova in feeling cartoonishly evil, although at least for once she actually has a motivation (revenge!). But seriously. Rabies? Gobblers (again)? Come on.
Overall though, the weak characters don’t distract hugely from the book and the Leviathans are really pretty cool. It’s kind of a bummer that I don’t expect we’ll see them again. We got more than in Jupiter at least, but I want more!