Review – Leviathan Wakes

Posted August 29, 2017 by Nicky in Reviews / 10 Comments

Cover of Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. CoreyLeviathan Wakes, James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes starts out weird and intriguing, with an opening that wouldn’t disgrace a horror story. After that, for a long time it becomes mostly space opera, with some political manoeuvring and a noir-ish detective story alternating chapters. There’s some clumsy world building in the first 100-200 pages, which often takes the form of infodumps. That made me hesitate about carrying on with the series, but after about the 200 page point, I found myself getting sucked in.

I gradually started to be interested in the characters — though Miller is never quite likeable, only piteable, to my mind — and what exactly was going on. Miller’s obsession with Julie Mao was weird, maybe even a little creepy, but his interactions with Holden and his crew were interesting. The way he wants to be accepted, but at the same time is willing to compromise that by doing whatever he thinks is right — even if idealistic Holden won’t like it.

I do think the book could definitely use more female characters. The society itself seems to be pretty equal opportunity, but the main female characters are Naomi and Julie. Julie’s mostly just an idea, and while Naomi is capable, a lot of her importance lies in her relationship with Holden and how that works out.

About halfway through, the weird stuff kicks back in, and then I was definitely hooked. When I got to the end, I decided I’d have to get Caliban’s War to find out what exactly happens next…

Rating: 4/5

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10 responses to “Review – Leviathan Wakes

  1. arbie

    What happens next is that you get your wish regarding female characters but then in the third book the writing falls off a quality cliff again. I gave up after that.

      • arbie

        I thought this one had a heavy dose of “woman in the freezer” syndrome and the fact that the authors have no clue about even basic physics became overwhelmingly a problem for me by the third volume and it was progressing at a snail’s pace; we seemed to still be in the prologue at the end of book three. I re-named the authors A. Couple of Hacks.

        Whether you will like it more than me I can’t really say.

        • I guess we’ll have to see! One of my book clubs is reading the series… But I totally concur on the women in refrigerators issue. I can think of at least two in the first book just without really thinking…

          Not understanding physics probably won’t bother me, though, since I don’t know physics that well myself!

  2. Your review pretty much encapsulates my response 🙂

    “WHHAAAAT? Err, okay, space opera. Err, okay, noir. Um, I’m not very interested in either of these guys, can something happen now? SHIT WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! …you’re going to do something inadvisable, aren’t you? DO THE THING DO THE THING DO THE THING. Wait, that’s even less advisable. WHAAATTTT? etc”

    …I ended up enjoying it an awful lot more than I expected from the first 200 pages. I also enjoyed Caliban’s War and Abaddon’s Gate (both of which do better for female characters, and slowly begin to develop the characters of the rest of the Rocinante’s crew – although we continue to see less of Naomi than I’d like).
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