Leviathan Wakes

By James S. A. Corey,

Book cover of Leviathan Wakes

Book description

Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the…

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Why read it?

13 authors picked Leviathan Wakes as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I thought I wasn’t a fan of space opera until I started reading Leviathan Wakes. I was drawn in immediately by the worldbuilding, which is some of the richest and most plausible I’ve ever encountered, but it was the characters that kept me reading.

I love a found family story; this series has one of the best. Spending time with Holden and his crew just made me feel happy; I’ve rarely been so invested in a set of characters’ lives and arcs. It felt like I knew them all personally.

I devoured this first book, reading late into the…

Arguably, one should wait many years after finishing a beloved TV show before diving into the books, but after stumbling across Leviathan Wakes – the first book in The Expanse series – in an Oslo bookstore, I couldn't resist taking it with me.

The TV show hews close to the book's beats. Yet, I felt I got a more detailed interior look at the characters by reading the story, which is just the beginning of a massive space odyssey that finds humans encountering aliens – and also learning that some of the aliens are themselves.

Rich, thought-through, and with characters…

The recommendation might seem out of place because Leviathan Wakes is sci-fi rather than fantasy, but James S.A. Corey’s incredible series has all the elements of an unforgettable D&D campaign – strangers thrown together to solve a mystery that threatens the very fabric of life and non-stop action full of twists.

This series is a master-class in world building and storytelling.

These books launched one of the best sci-fi TV shows of all time, and are fantastically written space opera.

Humans have expanded into space, living on the Moon, Mars, and the asteroids. We’re on the edge of war, political hardliners aren’t helping… and then a weird, mysterious substance makes things much, much worse.

The science in these books is spot-on, and the storytelling completely absorbing while spanning an epic scale.

The Expanse series is truly expansive world building at its finest.

A science fiction thriller filled with interesting personalities created from Earth’s many factions who now live among the stars (on asteroids and moons) and only one alien, an entity of unknown origin that is being manipulated for different means (end of the human race, anyone?).

Who, what, where, when – it’s all there in delicious and highly imaginative detail.

A masterpiece in this genre that will keep you immersed so much so you won’t want to come up for air. Books are best when you want to live in…

Good world-building is hard to come by, but The Expanse series pulls it off with panache. Credible, engaging, flawed, and loveable characters, science and tech that makes sense (rather than just being a McGuffin), and a fascinating genre blend of sci-fi, noir, and horror makes this a difficult one to put down. One of the main themes of this first novel is an exploration of the dangers of withholding or broadcasting information, but as you explore this universe narratives of tyranny and freedom, intrigue and vision – and, of course, good and evil – collide to make some of the…

Before I watched the first season of The Expanse, I made sure to read the book it was based on, Leviathan Wakes. I’d been expecting hard science fiction but was thrilled when Corey delivered futuristic realism with a healthy dose of character development, a delightful writing style, mystery, intrigue, character relationships, and Miller’s tragic fantasy-affair with a dead girl. It weaved so many unique elements together so brilliantly that I couldn’t put it down, and became terrified of being disappointed by the screen version—which, thankfully, I wasn’t. A bar-raising novel to say the least.

Here are two guys writing together and painting a picture with a brush made of words. They have an amazing talent for single sentences that invoke imagery and emotion. It’s beautiful. Add in the storyline that arcs across nine books where they shatter the current concept of space travel using real science and bold revelations built firmly in science fiction. It’s incredible how these authors can make you love such flawed characters, and then give you a galaxy spanning mystery that puts most sci-fi movies and series to shame.

Usually I steer clear of stories that have multiple characters written with their own chapters randomly throughout a book. Most authors homogenize the character’s internal and external dialog, thus removing all intended diversity in character. The two authors living under the moniker of James S. A. Corey, however, are masters of this writing style. I’ve yet to come across any who are better. The Expanse series is a space opera with a multitude of large and small plots across different worlds and the space between. Yet you don’t feel overwhelmed because the characters are written so well. Similarly, you don’t…

Jim Holden, from Earth, touched my sense of morality. Detective Miller, from the Belt, touched my sense of courage. Naomi Nagata, from the Belt, touched my sense of love. Alex Kamal, from Mars, touched my sense of regret. Amos Burton, from the underworld of Earth, touched my sense of fear. Leviathan Wakes is nearly 600 pages long, and I was sad to see it end. But so happy that there were 8 more tomes in this sci-fi adventure series, each with new fascinating characters, taking me to the farthest reaches of the universe, and ever so poignantly teaching me that…

From Steven's list on sci-fi that generates emotion.

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