Genre: Space Opera

Audio: Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey #JIAM

Posted June 11, 2017 by Anne in Book Review | , | 1 Comment

Audio: Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey  #JIAMLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Series: Expanse #1
Narrator: Jefferson Mays
Published by Recorded Books on June 15, 2011
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Format: Audiobook
Length: 19 hours, 10 minutes
Source: Library
Audio | Goodreads
four-stars

James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli.

Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

 

     

 

I received the ebook from Tor in a nifty program they have called book of the month club. It seems to have freebies of older award winners, often the first book in the series. Perfect since this is where I want to start and from their perspective, it gets me hooked on a series or author.

But I preferred to try the audiobook which was available at the library. I discovered this is a very popular space opera series which is now a TV show on syfy called The Expanse. I watched the first episode and it follows the book closely, except for the character’s physical looks. It looks like each season is one book. Since it follows the book, it starts out very slow; it would take awhile to get into it.

Leviathan Wakes is the beginning of the Expanse series with so far 9 books projected and 6 books published. The feel is old school science fiction with a space opera setting with some military aspects.  The primary players are Earth, Mars, “the belt” and the aliens.  There are also activists who sometimes act like terrorists and business corporations. This was published in 2011 and got some awards.

The story is told in the point of view of two main characters, both male, Holden and Miller. Their views alternate every other chapter. In some, they are not together geographically and in a few they are. The men’s lives connect somewhere in the middle. Holden is an idealist, used to succeeding with his pretty looks and thrown into leadership here by circumstances. Miller has been law enforcement his whole life but has been going through the motions somewhat since his divorce. I found Holden annoying and kind of self-righteous. I like and admired Miller despite his faults.

Jefferson Mays was wonderful in the narration. He really brought the emotion and personality of the characters forth. He made it easy to tell who was speaking with distinct voices. I especially appreciated the way the humor was handled.

This is one long book. There are politics, space adventures and battles, and mysteries to solve. The underlying layer is about what is right or wrong, and who is good or evil. Relationships, beliefs and intelligence are important factors along with the personalities and skills of the characters.  I was scared for them at times. While this is heavier than my normal read in tone, I enjoyed it and hope to read or listen further.

 

Review Breakdown
Story (Plot)
four-stars
Characters
four-stars
Narration (Audio)
four-half-stars
Overall: four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


New series: Vanguard by Jack Campbell

New series: Vanguard by Jack Campbell

Posted May 11, 2017 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments

          If you have enjoyed Jack Campbell’s other series, Lost Fleet and Beyond the Frontier, and Lost Stars,  Genesis Fleet will feel familiar. The writing style, space opera and military strategy all line up with the others. Vanguard is the beginning of the world, a prequel. The politics swing from democracy to dictator, not unrealistic to life, without finding a happy medium. The good guys and bad guys are clear but people can be redeemed, or change sides. In the developing world, people need to make decisions about who they will be and how they will live. People fight to survive. They also want to build new worlds with their own values and religions. Some are just greedy and controlling. It’s […]


Author Guest Post & Review: Confluence by S.K. Dunstall

Author Guest Post & Review: Confluence by S.K. Dunstall

Posted November 30, 2016 by Anne in Author Guest Post, Book Review | 0 Comments

    I got the first book in this series as part of my first Ace Roc star package and I knew from reading the blurb I would love it.  I did and I have continued to love this series.  Of course, it is space opera and I’m renewing my love affair with space opera the past two years. Read the Linesman series in order, the story builds with each book. Each of the three books is different in the feel.  Linesman (my review) introduces this world and our hero, Ean Lambert.  Alliance (my review)  is a broader view of the world and its politics with many more characters involved. Our “team” from Lancia works together to try to solve issues. Confluence has our team […]


Thrifty Thursday: Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart

Thrifty Thursday: Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart

Posted October 27, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments

The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to pick a book which was free (at some point). Kindle freebie on January 7, 2016  (currently $3.99 as of writing this post) Overall rating 4.19 with 1,221 ratings and 89 reviews Space opera and magic – what’s not to love?  Starship’s Mage combines some of my favorite things.  I’ve always loved space opera.  There’s science and technology and new, faraway places, and politics and adventures and battles. But usually there’s a person or a crew who is out there exploring new places, learning about themselves and inevitably, showing compassion and integrity as they fight greed and evil. Damien is that guy, our hero. He’s a special snowflake and has tragically lost his whole family. His relationships and the […]


Audio review: Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja

Audio review: Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja

Posted August 4, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 1 Comment

         When I started listening, I shook my head at how stupid some things were but then the ridiculous worked its way into a hilarious satire. I love science fiction and space opera. However, the military is unfortunately, related to the government which is the scariest thing ever. In Mechanical Failure, bureaucracy covers up other bad things happening. The author is also the narrator which seems like a great idea. Who else knows the material and proper emotional tone as well? Since Joe Zieja is also a voice actor, it seems even more appropriate. I found it comfortable to listen to the story with a nice pace and inflections. He didn’t really do any vocal changes to differentiate the characters except the […]


Series review of The Lost Stars  by Jack Campbell

Series review of The Lost Stars by Jack Campbell

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 1 Comment

     I got all but the newest of these books at the library as Kindle ebooks. These stories are in the world of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet books. They start  at the point where the Alliance / Syndicate war has ended and now the governments need to refocus and rebuild their economies. This is the same timeframe as the Lost Fleet / Beyond the Frontier series. Both series are a spinoff of sorts on The Lost Fleet series. The Syndics  are the “enemy”  of my beloved John Geary (of the Alliance) or are they? This is a fascinating look at things from another perspective. There are more details of the same events.  I love space opera but there are always politics.  The books are […]


Leviathan (and the Lost Fleet series) by Jack Campbell

Leviathan (and the Lost Fleet series) by Jack Campbell

Posted May 12, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments

This is the latest in a spinoff series. The original series is The Lost Fleet; this series is Beyond the Frontier. It all feels like one series, even one story, as each book picks up where the last one left off. I listened to every book but this one on audio, CDs in my car. I enjoyed them so much and the world feels very comfortable and dear. The narrator was Christopher Rummel. I enjoyed his voice for the different characters.  His steady rendition seemed to fit the strength of the main character, John “Black Jack” Geary.  I liked the occasional feel of fear/frustration; the character feels honest in this vulnerability.  The voice was clear and easy to understand. It didn’t feel like Rummel was […]


Admiral by Sean Danker

Admiral by Sean Danker

Posted April 29, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 3 Comments

     Another book I wouldn’t have picked and really loved which came from Ace Roc stars.  I seriously need to consider more space opera / science fiction because I enjoy it so much.   The world building is scattered into various dire circumstances.  The politics and rest of the world are a shelf in the background which the characters reference occasionally.  The layer of military and societal consequences dust their choices.   The four characters are interesting and well done, but the Admiral is awesome.  His point of view tells us this survival story and he’s smart, funny and self-deprecating at times.   The MacGyver style of making things happen is a big win for me.   We never learn his name; he’s only The Admiral. […]