James S. A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes Review

I would like to preface this review by saying that I have only seen maybe one or two episodes of The Expanse’s first season. I can’t remember why I quit watching, but I think it was because I thought the plot was confusing with Earth, Mars, and the Belt. Now for the review:


The Good:

First of all, let me say that I am a reader that has a hard time with finishing books. I usually get halfway through, but end up putting the book down and never picking it back up again. I think a big part of that is the length of chapters. I know that it will be a huge chunk of time reading a chapter in those books.

  • The great thing, for me, about Leviathan Wakes is that the chapters are short. I can sit down and read a couple of chapters in thirty minutes and feel good that I made progress on the book. And a lot happens in those chapters as well.
  • The chapters alternate between the perspectives of Joe Miller and Jim Holden. This also kept me reading because of the fact of “Well, I read Miller’s chapter so now I have to read Holden’s chapter.” It was only fair.
  • The pacing is AMAZING. I looked forward to reading this book everyday. There are some books that I want to like because the concept is cool or maybe the story is even interesting, but it takes so long for anything to happen. I didn’t have to worry about that in this book. If I did come across a chapter that was slower it didn’t really matter because the chapters are short anyway and then I’m on to another perspective.
  • The setting is interesting to me. In a world full of Star Wars’ and Star Trek’s, I love when a story is contained to a “small” area. A space opera that takes place in the solar system is interesting to me because it’s something that could, at least, start to happen in the next couple of generations. Side note: If you haven’t seen the movie Prospect, it’s really good. I could see a story like that happening in The Expanse’s universe.
  • The characters. The characters are really good. I’ve never smiled while reading a book before reading this book. There were multiple times where the crew of the Rocinante would just be hanging out and talking and it would actually be really funny. I could picture the conversations happening and each character had their own voice.

The Okay:

  • I loved the whole story with Julie Mao, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole “virus turning people into mindless minions” thing. It wasn’t super unique, but it wasn’t bad.
  • This may be ignorance on my part, but I’m not 100% positive on how Eros is propelling itself across the solar system. Is it just because of its spin? I’m not sure. Again, not really a criticism, but I thought I’d add it here.
  • Not a big deal at all, but I looked forward to reading Jim Holden’s chapters way more than Joe Miller’s. I think it’s because there is a lot of cop talk explaining how things work in the world, where Holden’s chapters are a lot more action and character interaction. Just my preference though.

The Bad:

  • I’m just going to put this here to show how good this book is! Nothing that I can say bad about this book.

The Final Thought:

  • 8/10
  • I’m so glad that I read this book. It has helped me realize things about the space saga that I am currently writing and will definitely only help me get better. Never in my life would I have thought that I would start reading a series of books with NINE books, but here I am. And as soon as I finished Leviathan Wakes I went ahead and bought Caliban’s War. My goal this year is to read all nine books. Fingers crossed!

Published by Jacob Fite

My name is Jacob, I'm 30 years old and currently serving in the USAF. Born in Sheridan, Arkansas, USA. I love writing poetry and stories. My first completed story, The Drip can be found here on my blog.

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