Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Leviathan Wakes By James S.A. Corey

Leviathan WakesLeviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey, is the first book in the Expanse series. It is a space opera set only within our solar system. Corey is writing a series that spans the sub-genres of planetary to galactic space opera. It will be interesting to see if the galactic aspect involves warp drive, worm holes, or generation ships (as already established).

Reading Leviathan Wakes has reminded me that I have not read the 3rd book in the The Quiet War series (In The Mouth of the Whale) by Paul McAuley since it also spans from a planetary to an extra-solar space opera milieu. The difference is that the post-human aspect of the Quiet War series is homegrown while the Expanse's is introduced by an alien 'virus'.

Many authors use the novel structuring technique of alternating point of view into chapters among a collection of several main characters, both hero and villain. In Leviathan Wakes the authors alternate between two fascinating characters. Jim Holden is an officer on a ship of little importance thrust into a position of power. His self-righteousness and dedication to the truth and justice meets the real world. Detective Miller is a classic noir character. An alcoholic world-weary cop knows too much about the darker side of human nature. His love for a girl he's never met leads him down a rabbit hole bordering on insanity and possibly the salvation of the human race. The skill with which Corey alternates the stories of the two men from chapter to chapter is masterful.

Looking forward to reading the next two books in the series: Caliban's War (out now) and Abaddon's Gate (later in 2013).

James S.A. Corey is the pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

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