Leviathan Wakes (2011) – James S.A. Corey

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I love a good science fiction movie or television series, but oft-times I have a hard time digging into science fiction books, the exception being Arthur C. Clarke, Star Wars and Star Trek novels with occasional deviance into other titles if they catch my attention.

I’ll read all manner of books, they just have to hold my interest, and most science fiction books don’t give me a starting off point that I can relate too, or at least I don’t think they do. So when I came across a list of books that would make great television series (EDIT: which apparently it has been picked up for), I figured I would give this one, Leviathan Wakes, a shot. In the blurb I read, it mentioned that these are ordinary working class folks, akin to Firefly and the Battlestar Galactica reboot, caught up in bigger events. That’s appealing to me, especially when set against the backdrop of the stars.

I was not disappointed!

Humanity has begun to spread out into the solar system, we’ve colonized Mars, and begun to turn some asteroids into stations, we harvest water from Saturn’s rings. We’ve yet to reach the stars, but we’ve left the gravity well of our birth planet, and spread out.

levathian-wakesAnd the working man still exists. Holden, his crewmates Naomi, Amos and Alex are caught up in events that begin to spiral the solar system into a state of war. When a ship is attacked, and destroyed it sets everyone on edge, and begins to turn Earth, Mars, and the Outer Planet Alliance (those who live and work in and beyond the asteroid belt) against each other, Holden discovers that not everything may be as it seems.

Meanwhile out on one of the asteroids, Ceres, a police detective, Miller, is brought in to track down a missing woman, Julie Mao, her last known location… the destroyed ship.

As Miller and Holden begin to puzzle out what is actually going on, they find themselves thrown together, with the solar system and all of human life hanging in the balance.

I loved how this book was put together, Corey has made his characters real, and relatable. The best compliment I can pay this, is that it feels like it could exist in the Firefly universe, or run parallel to it. It doesn’t have the sense of play and fun, that Whedon’s creation has, instead it’s grounded in a believable reality, and never stretched credibility.

While I was reading it, I was constantly raving to everyone about how much I enjoyed it, as, like I said, I’m not always the biggest sci-fi reader. But these characters, they could be the reader, they could be me. Yes, they are in space, but they’re everyday folk… perhaps Holden and his crew are best described the way Ridley Scott referred to the crew of the Nostromo in Alien, they’re space truckers.

These space truckers just happen to get caught up in huge events that will affect all of humanity, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next! – There are two more books in the series, with a fourth due this summer, in just a few weeks actually, referred to as The Expanse Series.

If you are looking for something sci-fi to read, with involving characters, great set pieces, and an engaging, fast-moving plot, pick this one up!!!

What do you recommend as a good science fiction book to read for those who may not like to read sci-fi, but love to watch it?

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