Art by Daniel Dociu
“Hmmm, that’s weird.”
So after a bit of time, I finally got around to reading the first few books of S.A. Corey’s books this past week. Which I’ll begin my commentary on a series which I honestly found very interesting. The series touches upon a lot of factors that I myself seek to build into the series I’m working on.
Leviathan Wakes deals with the Solar System roughly two hundred years in the future from now. A man by the name of Solomon Epstein decided to invent the first interplanetary drive using magnetic coil acceleration. Its a strange mixture of soft and hard science which makes most of the series come off as fairly realistic. It takes a while to travel across the Solar System, and as you read the POVs ranging from Detective Miller to the mouthy James Holden, the Expanse really comes off as well an Exapanse.
The Story in question focuses in teh beginning as a mixture of political conspiracy, and a semi-noir-cyberpunk. The political background of the series is pretty typical of a smaller power and ethnic group (this case the Belters) dealing with the greater powers (Earth and Mars). The Belters being a group of humans with lanky frames adapted to live in low gravity. They even have their own IRA / ETA paramilitary government called the OPA (Outer-Planets Alliance). Politically all these forces including the United Nations (who now rules all of earth) are a constant in the story.
Then there are big corporations such as MaoKwik, Progent, and others. Toss these all together with a strange scary horror alien device, and I think you can start to get an understanding of things. This story does not pull punches when it comes to show the brutality of Belter life. It also does not slow down once the plot kicks up. People die, friendships are forged, and very nasty people with realistic motivations are given toys that humans should not have.
Through out reading the series, I stopped and considered the motivations behind each character. I have to say a bit like my reading of Foreigner the authors (the SA Corey name is a pseudonym for those who did not know) do a good job at keeping the person engaged. I loved the stories in general, though there were some points which were a bit off at times. The plethora of characters from mixed backgrounds (which acknowledges humanity homogenizing and then splitting apart) was well thought out. I think the only thing that really dragged at times were some of the parts with the early Holden gang. Honestly I still prefer Miller’s POVs even though I’ve come to love Naomi Nagata.
So if you have a chance and want to get your first step into Space Opera, check out Leviathan Wakes!