by James S. A. Corey
4 stars - space adventure
ALR Blue - no animals
Our main library has been closed for several weeks due to an electrical explosion. The little branch library has a scant two shelves dedicated to science fiction. A couple of weeks ago, I went free ranging on those shelves and found this book. It was fat and showed enough signs of wear that I was confident it had been checked out several times, despite the date stamp indicating it had only arrived at the library five months ago. What the heck?
Good decision. Apparently there is a genre known as Space Opera. Who knew? According to the Internet, Space Opera is "a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, and often risk-taking as well as chivalric romance; usually involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons and other sophisticated technology."
Yup, Leviathan Wakes is all that. The scene opens in the Belt around the rings of Saturn. People have colonized most of the solar system and Jim Holden captains an ice mining vessel which takes frozen stuff from the rings and delivers it to be converted to water. He and his crew discover a derelict ship. Well, what happened here?
Meanwhile, there's Miller. He's a cynical cop operating in the Belt who gets tangled up in the fallout of Holden's discovery (which kind of turns in to riots and war).
The two of them each search for answers and eventually their paths cross. So, what's really going on? Terrorism? Corporate greed fueled war? Aliens?
The story was everything promised. The inhabited solar system, with it's different cultures (mainly people who grew up on Earth v. those who grew up in the Belt), cool technology, battles, and human interest. Minimal mushy stuff, but plenty of plot.
Bonus. This is one of five volumes in a series. Yikes! That's a lot of space opera to look forward to.