Friday, August 10, 2012

Leviathan Wakes (SF Novel)

Asteroids. Stealth Technology. Finding the Truth. Conspiracies. Detectives. Wars. Experiments. Governments. Corporations. Rebel Organizations. Aliens. Politics. 

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey —Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck— is what I call a “good read.” It has likeable characters, good world-building, plenty of action, and a storyline with interesting twists and turns. The book has the feel of a science fiction/detective story hybrid. Leviathan Wakes was nominated for the 2012 Locus SF and Hugo Awards.

The story takes place in a world where people have colonized at least as far as the Asteroid Belt. Briefly, in response to a distress call, Holden, second in command of an ice-hauler, takes a team to investigate a disabled ship. While away, their hauler is attacked and its crew killed. Holden finds evidence that the Mars Navy may be to blame. After a Mars ship picks up Holden and his team, the rescuing ship is attacked and most of its crew killed. Holden and his team manage to escape and find themselves befriended by Fred, a former war-hero who is now part of the Outer Planet Alliance, a rebel group. Holden’s various disclosures of information manage to inflame emotions in a solar system already on the brink of war. Holden and his team, haunted by the deaths of their colleagues, try to get to the bottom of the attacks on their ice-hauler and the Mars ship. Meanwhile, Miller, a detective on Ceres, is asked to kidnap Julie, the daughter of a wealthy family, and send her back to her parents. But, as he investigates the case, he suspects that it has more far-reaching implications than just a dysfunctional family. He becomes obsessed with Julie. Even after he is taken off the case and fired, he continues to search for her. Holden’s team and Miller cross paths and for a time join forces. The book ends on a satisfying note, while making us want to know what happens next.

For me, Leviathan Wakes was enjoyable because of the good storytelling. Some of the little details popped out, making me feel like I was watching a movie. Holden and his team is the group that we all wish we belonged to. Miller’s down on his luck detective personality adds to the strong human element. Because I did not read very many reviews ahead of time, the twist in the story caught me by complete surprise; I thought this was the story about the incidents leading up to a huge, multiple book, war. While I have seen elements of the story in other novels, the combination is still fresh and interesting. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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