I don’t know if you ever have the sensation where you finish a book or a movie, and you leave it, utterly silent, thinking only to yourself, That was really good.
That’s how I felt when I finished Leviathan Wakes, the first book in The Expanse series. For those who don’t know, it’s the book that the sci-fi channel’s hit new show is based on. I’ve written about the show here, and am really excited to see the second season once it hits DVD.
So, I came into this book with pretty high expectations already, which is usually a recipe for disaster. Not this time, though. The book held up with flying colors.
Leviathan Wakes is a hard book to pin down at times. It’s sci-fi throughout, but borrows liberally from horror, political thrillers, mysteries, military fiction, and even noir. I think that’s one of the reasons I love it so much.
The two main characters, Holden and Miller, are wonderfully fleshed out. Holden is a noble fool, almost naive in his innocence. Miller feels like he could have stepped right out of a classic noir film, divorced wife in tow. The way the story brings them together and forces them to interact is beautifully done.
It’s not a flawless book. Particularly near the end, there were some moments where I thought to myself I don’t think that would work. . . But I’m okay with it for the sake of the story.
What I love most about it is that it is a story about humans. The ideas within are cool, but unlike a Neal Stephenson novel, ideas take a back seat to the people who are trying to work their way through the story.
I certainly realize that it’s early in the year, but so far, Leviathan Wakes is my favorite sci-fi of 2017!