James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes was a hotly anticipated space opera which the publisher described in brief as the story of:
ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.
Now I’ve listened to most of the longer contemporary sci-fi reads on audible, so I am constantly looking for the next big thing. For this review to have some context, I should say that my favorite authors include Peter Hamilton, Alistair Reynold, Ian Banks and future histories and singularity novels. This is important because I’m admittedly bias to these types of stories and probably hypercritical to stories that are categorized as space opera.
That being said, I was excited to download this novel as there was a lot of pre-publication hype, which is unusual in the sci-fi genre.
So the verdict…
To use a overly used internet cliche…Meh.
It’s hard to give a less than positive review without spoilers, so I’m not going to give specifics to support my point. So I’ll just state generally that the science of the novel did not add anything new nor was it paticularly thought provoking. Perhaps the authors (there were two, writung under the above pen name), wanted to make the story more accessible to a wide audience at the expense of the more hardcore sci-fi fan.
Also, what disappointed me the most was the good guy protagonist Holden (there are two co -stars, the second had a darker aspect). Many of the reviews I have read remarked about his characterization but his “softness” just didnt work and his decisions seemed unbelievable for someone in his position.
I wouldn’t advise anyone to avoid this title if you have a credit to spare…but it just seems a little unsatisfying. This may be unfair due to comparing this work to that of the authors named above, but appropriate based on the hype proceeding its publication.
What do you think about this novel?