Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes The Expanse

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

The Scopuli had been taken eight days ago, and Julie Mao was finally ready to be shot.

Plot

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe

Review

Humanity has spread beyond earth. It has colonized the moon, Mars and built space stations on asteroids, the so-called Belt, where people live in difficult circumstances, mining and working for the planets, having to buy air, water and food.

It’s on the greatest station of the Belt, Ceres, that detective Miller is trying to keep control over his life. His wife left him, he drinks too much and he is paired with a partner from Earth. Tensions between the Belt and the inner planets are rising, so an Earther is a constant target.

He’d been working Ceres security for thirty years, and he hadn’t started with many illusions in place. The joke was that Ceres didn’t have laws – it had police. His hands weren’t cleaner than Captain Shaddid’s. Sometimes people fell out of airlocks. Sometimes evidence vanished from the lockers. It wasn’t so much that it was right or wrong as that it was justified. You spent your life in a stone bubble with your food, your watetr, your air shipped in from places so distant you could barely find them with a telescope, and a certain moral flexibility was necessary. But he’d never had to take a kidnap job before.

Then he gets a weird job: Find a girl from Luna, Juliette Andromeda Mao, kidnap her and ship her back to her parents. He soon finds that the job is more than it seems and is connected to the rising tensions and threat of war between the planets.

At the same time, a water freighter gets an emergency signal in the middle of nowhere and the crew, among them Jim Holden, go to find out if they can help. What happens then goes far beyond anything they could have imagined and they find themselves in the middle of a complicated political powerplay.

And oh, they also get involved with an alien substance that converts people into goo-spluttering zombies and could annihilate all of humanity. You know. The usual.

Gomez whispered back. People always whispered when they were hiding. Wrapped in a space suit and surrounded by vacuum, Gomez could have been lighting fireworks inside his armor and no one would have heard it, but he whispered.

I loved the little science details in this book. I loved the explanation for the space stations, the way the ships worked.

I also really liked the different cultures, particularly that of the Belt, a complex mixture of different cultures fused into a very unique, interesting whole.

Conclusion

Interplanetary tensions, cool science and alien zombies – a great first in what promises to be an interesting series.

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