Monday, June 25, 2012

Leviathan Wakes
by James S. A. Corey

Life has become very different in the Belt. It's gone beyond the oddly elongated bodies of the Belters and their tolerance to low gravity: in an abandoned ship, a new lifeform is growing. Jim Holden has to watch his friends and shipmates get nuked when they stumble too close to the secret; the fall-out of which is potential inter-planetary war. And Detective Miller is on the hunt for a missing Earther with important connections. Both are on a trajectory toward a gruesome discovery, but what will happen to human civilization when they arrive?

The book jacket describes Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey as a "kick-ass space opera." Now, I don't know what a space opera is; when I imagine it, I see fat aliens wearing pig-tailed wigs and viking helmets, and somehow I don't think that's what they're going for. So, after reading this book, I would say a space opera is genre-bending sci-fi, since this book is equal parts sci-fi and noir, with some horror thrown in.

I've never been a huge fan of noir; I usually end up finding it tedious, and Detective Miller did start to bore me by the end. But there was enough tension and horror to keep me interested until the conclusion. The other main character, Holden, was much more interesting, perhaps because his chapters involved semi-functional relationships with several other secondary characters, instead of a whole lot of brooding and binge drinking.

And be warned: the book is long. My copy was 582 pages, and the pages themselves are both longer and wider than your average paperback. So when you pick this book up, be prepared for a long and occasionally memorable ride at zero g. And the story continues in the next book, Caliban's War.

Genre: science fiction
Format: hardcopy
Copy source: library

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