Leviathan Wakes (2011)
by James S.A. Corey
Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from Saturn’s rings to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew find a derelict ship, they find a secret they never wanted. Someone is willing to kill to cover up the truth, and war is brewing.
Detective Miller is looking for a missing girl. When the trail leads to Holden’s mystery ship, he realizes the girl may be the key to everything. Holden and Miller must thread the needle between Earth’s government, Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations. The odds are against them, but one small ship could change the fate of the universe.
My result: Highly Recommended
Leviathan Wakes is the perfect blend of science fiction, mystery, and horror. It starts out noir in a world of teeming spaceports and isolated outposts, then takes a turn into Lovecraftian horror as the plot races forward. The mystery delivers an obsessed detective on the trail of the case he can’t forget, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. The horror elements come late, but are chilling enough to satisfy.
Holden and Miller are viewpoint characters with polar opposite beliefs and conflicting morals. Their actions spring naturally from what they believe, and drive the plot. Rarely have I seen differing beliefs shown so clearly, with neither side cast as fully right or wrong.
If you love cross-genre reads or complex characters in conflict, you’ll love Leviathan Wakes. (And if you like to read the book before the TV show, The Expanse is coming to SyFy this December. Here’s hoping they get the balance right.)
* Science fiction fans with a love of cross-genre elements
* Mystery or horror fans looking for something different
* Well-developed characters with complex moral beliefs
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