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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recently read: "Leviathan Wakes" by James Corey

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse)

So, does this qualify as "the new space opera"?  Given that it's confined to our solar system, I suppose not.  I did enjoy the book a lot, though.

We have alternately chapters, told through the viewpoints of two characters. 

Jim Holden is the XO of an ice miner.  His ship investigates a derelict, and while aboard his shuttle, his mining ship is destroyed.  Based upon evidence found aboard the derelict, he broadcasts that Mars may be responsible.  This causes an immediately increase in tension between Mars and the Belt, with violence of various levels starting to break out.

Miller is a detective on Ceres.  Given a side assignment to find a missing girl (who's parents have money and pull) he realizes that she may be the key to what's actually going on.  He may be too good (or too determined) for his own good, since he's ordered to drop the missing girl case.

There was a time, about 3/4 of the way through the book, when I thought that maybe the authors (Corey is the pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) had stretched the story out too long, but it picked back up, and had a bang up ending.  Miller and Holden are both well written characters, I think, and some of the secondary ones are interesting also.  It's not quite "hard sf" (the Epstein drive is sort of a magical space drive, though I think they were right in not trying to explain it) and it's not clear that the economic situation makes sense (Earth and Mars are the two major powers, with the Belt a minor third one).

It's book one of a trilogy...I certainly plan on seeing how the second one comes out.

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