Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Review: Leviathan Wakes

Written by the combination of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the pen name of James S.S. Corey (why?), Leviathan Wakes is one of the first large form Sci-Fi books I've written in quite some time and one of the most entertaining I've ever read.

Make no mistake, this isn't "hard" sci-fi.  You won't be getting into multipage descriptions of the technological minutiae of a propulsion drive or the math required to calculate the force necessary to move a heavenly body out of its orbit.

What you do get is a fully formed and eminently believable "world" in which the story functions.  Extrapolating from today's space technology, political machinations and corporate expansion, Corey weaves an extremely detailed pathway for his characters to ride.

Corey also does a fantastic job of literally weaving the story together--taking two characters and alternating chapters between them until they come together later in the story and then towards the end returning to the alternating perspective as the characters again are separated.  The convention works well and lends itself well to holding the reader's attention.

The story itself involves the hunt for a missing woman and the eventual conspiracy that is uncovered as being responsible for her death (? here as I'm not sure she really "dies").  You have all the typical features of a great sci-fi story with space battles, weird creatures, items floating around, the danger of space's vacuum, etc.  In fact, much of the story carries familiar aspects that we've all encountered elsewhere--whether its in Alien, Blade Runner, 28 Days Later, Outbreak, etc.  Corey is not exactly breaking new ground in terms of storytelling but he has wrapped together a number of genres into a very entertaining package.

With Leviathan Wakes being the first novel in a trilogy, it does what it sets out to do--which is to get you looking for the next chance you get to buy the followup.

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