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Leviathan Wakes: Book 1 of the Expanse Paperback – 3 May 2012

186 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841499897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841499895
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

It's been too long since we've had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written, the kind of SF that made me fall in love with the genre way back when, seasoned with a dollop of horror and a dash of noir. Jimmy Corey writes with the energy of a brash newcomer and the polish of a seasoned pro (George R. R. Martin)

A winning blend of old-school space opera and modern sensibility... Corey combines no-nonsense storytelling with hard-boiled dialogue as the novel races to a truly cosmic ending. An excellent start to a promising new series (THE TELEGRAPH)

Corey... has created a refreshingly blue-collar tale, with well-drawn characters and a compelling narrative sweep. Roll on Book Two. (FINANCIAL TIMES)

LEVIATHAN WAKES is an amazing book. In fact, there is not a single negative thing I can say about the novel, which delivers in all phases including setting, characterization, story, pacing, prose, and from a purely entertainment standpoint. Simply put, LEVIATHAN WAKES is the best novel I've read in 2011 so far (FANTASY BOOK CRITIC)

The world building, hands down, is some of the best that I've seen for a space opera novel, with a good cast of characters and story that go along with it . . . This novel feels like a breath of fresh air, trading in the galaxy for our solar system, but retaining an sense of the epic (SF SIGNAL)

If you love tales packed with worldbuildy details like how humans cored asteroids, pumped them full of atmosphere, and spun them up for gravity's sake, then you'll love this novel to pieces (io9)

LEVIATHAN WAKES is space opera for the masses-it asks for little from its readers other than that they show up and enjoy the ride, no doctorate in quantum mechanics necessary. The classic juxtaposition of Miller's hard-edged noir narrative and Holden's idealistic adventure are perfectly suited for one another and together they form the most enjoyable novel I've read so far in 2011. It's fast, it's fun and it's escapist science fiction in the purest sense of the term. One can only hope that The Expanse is expansive, indeed (A DRIBBLE OF INK)

One of the best opening volumes to an SF series in recent memory, one of the most entertaining novels I've read in 2011 and a novel that only has me hungry for more in the series. This is a Space Opera I want to see more of on the shelves (SFF WORLD)

A ridiculously entertaining space opera . . . A relentless, page-turning novel with some great character-building (WERTZONE)

So far as cinematic sci-fi goes, LEVIATHAN WAKES is as entertaining and summer-blockbuster as you can get with a 600 page book (BOOK SMUGGLERS)

LEVIATHAN WAKES has it all and I defy you to come away from this book empty handed when I'm talking about things like the death of a battle cruiser, alien infestations on a space station and gunfights in seedy space port hotels . . . If you read one science fiction novel this year I'd seriously consider making it this one. Essential space opera reading that bodes very well for future books in the series (GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW)

This new science fiction series begins with an incredible story, complex and well-executed. With an intriguing storyline, vivid characters, and even vomiting zombies, this was highly enjoyable from start to finish. Blending suspense, horror, space opera, and mystery - this first installment is one no science fiction fan will want to miss (SCIFI CHICK)

If you're looking for some Space Opera Noir SF goodness, then read this one, people. It's sure to please. It certainly did good things for me (ELITIST BOOK REVIEWS)

LEVIATHAN WAKES is a big novel full of movie worthy space battles, hand-to-hand combat, near death experiences, a couple of love stories, and a big bad evil to be fought and conquered . . . Approachable, easy-to-read, and entertaining (GRASPING FOR THE WIND)

Book Description

The start of the Expanse series - a fast-paced and thoroughly gripping new space adventure

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Louis "LEC Book Reviews" on 1 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
It is entirely justifiable to call Leviathan Wakes one of the most hotly anticipated titles of the year. Touted by George R.R. Martin as a `kickass space opera` James S.A. Corey's debut is a return to the old-school form of space opera, but souped up to satisfy modern tastes. Delivering on Martin's promise of a kickass story, Corey makes every effort to mix together a crime plot with that of a tense struggle and an armed interplanetary conflict.This sprawling start to the aptly named `The Expanse' is a triumph of science fiction entertainment and fine writing.

Corey sets out both a creative view of humanity's future and a starkly realistic one. In his vision, humanity - at sub-light speeds - has extended its reach to the far ends of our solar system, establishing itself on Mars, the moons of the outer gas giants and on many of the larger components of the Asteroid Belt. Though not at all a hard SF novel, Leviathan Wakes does try to get some of its facts right, and its depiction of interplanetary travel and life outside of the homey confines of Earth reflect that, even if they are, in the end, purely fictional imaginings.

Brilliantly, Corey makes use of certain of these scientific `restrictions' as catalysts for conflict. So the `belters,' humans that were born and have lived in the Asteroid Belt have developed differently physically from their Terran and Martian cousins because of the low-gravity environment in which they subsist. These differences, much like our issues of race today, are sources of friction between the different factions of the solar system and eventually lead to greater conflict in the novel.

With this setting as a backdrop, Corey forges a twisted mystery that seems to weave in and out of the main characters' lives and connect every event.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JC on 13 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Death, destruction, politics, space ships, villans, getaways and, yes, zombies. This space opera is one fast paced mash-up of every other sci-fi situation you can think of and its all done really, really well. Taken from two characters viewpoints throughout, these slowly come together as the plot moves around the massive settlements of the asteroid belt, where humnaity makes its home.

Laviathan Wakes starts out as Alien/Event Horizon, when a missing ship sends out a distress call that is not what it seems. This is then mixed with the politics of Red Mars and quickly spun into the battles of Pandoras Box. Having escaped the mayhem, our heroes move on to a dose of Resident Evil and then..... well I won't go on more as I might spoil the story. Sufficient to say this is a great, slightly retro, page turner and really enjoyable
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GhostMuppet on 23 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A story told from two perspectives of an incident that could see the end of the human race. Yeah, that sounds a great read.

I bought this as an ebook ages ago when it was on a offer at Amazon.co.uk for 99p. It took a while to reach, not because i had a massive backlog, but because i was listening to lots of audiobooks. The book club i am in had read the latest volumes of the series and got great reviews - and these are people whose opinions i respect. So there was no stopping me from reading it.

And was i glad i did. Not just because the story is interesting and kept me on edge, but because the characters were fleshed out. The story is from 2 perspectives - Miller, a detective and Holden, a freighters XO. Both characters have their flaws, some serious some not so. They remind me of real people i know (all be it, not in space). I made a quick connection to not only them, but also the support characters. The support characters fleshed out the whole book, giving it a lived in appeal. I really enjoyed the ship scenes. I know this has been said many time before, it did give an impression of Firefly - not a bad thing in my opinion.

The writing was excellent. There was little in the way of annoying filler. The filler chapters gave a sense of family, how the characters were reacting to something. The action scenes were brief, but detailed. It came across to me as a lean story.

I am eager to get the rest of the series when time and money permits, as well as all the short stories. This is a series i will keep an eye on (especially as there will be a TV series produced as well).

I can not recommend this book enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Heywood on 23 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I owe someone a beer. There was an Amazon thread where someone recommended this as a good sci-fi book. On the look out for a new author and an excuse to read another modern Sci-fi (the last one was The Algebraist, which I found very rewarding), I took the plunge.

The setting is our fairly familiar solar system. Mars, the Moon, and several other moons and asteroids around the Solar System are populated by humanity and there are three major governments (or political entities). Earth (UN), Mars, and The Belt (pretty much most of the rest). I must admit, I had a few pangs of disappointment at reading this as my first thought was that this was going to quite limiting. However it isn't, and in fact, it helps the story move along. I found it quite easy to relate to the people and places and I am certainly no astronomer.

Ultimately though, a book needs more than a setting, it needs characters, it needs a good plot, it needs tension, and crisis... Of course this book has all of that in spades. It really doesn't take long at all to get to know the characters and appreciate their differences as they are whipped along by the fast paced plot. And tension is also abundant throughout the book. Each chapter is done from the POV of a particular character, which works well (and also seemed rather familiar). In fact, the author is an assistant to the writer of Game of Thrones. I found this out after being approximately 10% of the way through the book, and to be honest, I was disappointed (to be fair, I need to give Game of Thrones another go, but it didn't really enthral me). However, I didn't need to be as Carey is his own man and a great writer.

No review could fail to mention the humour too.
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