The Expanse Book Series Review

by on December 10, 2012

in book reviews, Entertainment

Leviathon Wakes - The Expanse, a book reviewThis is a book review of a sorts, about The Expanse book series.  It’s an engaging science fiction story with just enough characters to make it interesting, but not convoluted.  It’s an easy read and it’s hard to put down damnit.  But don’t take my word for it.  Leviathan Wakes was nominated for a 2012 Best Novel Hugo Award!

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Leviathan Wakes & Caliban’s War, by James S. A. Corey (A pen name of the writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The first and last name are taken from Abraham’s and Franck’s middle names, respectively, and S. A. are the initials of Abraham’s daughter.), are titles from first two books from the three-book series called The Expanse. The third title is due out in June 2013.

Man has expanded out into space and humanity has done to space what they did to Earth. They’ve populated various locations throughout our solar system like Mars, the Moon and such, and we’ve also brought the usual human conditions with us, including strife and “corporate enthusiasm” with us.

And as it seems, as we get out there, we discover things. And the popular theme of tech hungry corporations comes into play.

Both books open with a teaser that does not (seem to) have any immediate bearing on the following chapters, but oh, they are so important to the ensuing story.

The story starts in Leviathan Wakes and gets itself gets a huge kick in the pants when an ice freighter finds itself attacked for no reason and when one of the crew members, James Holden, finds a piece of left-over equipment from the attacking ship, he broadcasts his findings for the entire human species to see.  His broadcast is truthful, hinting at no blame, but you know how people can get.  If they find themselves stung, they’ll tend to blame bees first and get facts later.

So by the time he returns to a port in space, he realizes that his announcement has sparked a war in the already tense relationship between Earth, Mars and other factions of humanity.

Meanwhile, a Detective Miller is given a side-task of locating a girl.  He gets this task because her rich parents want her found and returned to Earth before the s*! hits the fan.  Which is interesting, as Miller seems to suspect there’s something up in as much as her parents seem concerned for her well-being long before anything seems to happen.

on Amazon:  The Expanse book series  }

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But this attack is more than what it seems and it starts a quest by our primary characters that will soon have them crossing paths and uncovering a frightening discovery of aliens hell-bent on our destruction, a detective who falls in love with his missing person case and our ice-freighter XO who only wants to find out the truth… and believes everyone should know about it.

Sigh.

Caliban's War - The Expanse book series What these guys find is way more than they bargained for and away we go in Leviathan Wakes.  The story is continued a short time later in Caliban’s War, where actions/events from the first book spark a new and seemingly deadlier twist of threats and tales.

James Holden is now a house-hold name, though he is wanted by different factions from different planets for his various actions in the previous chapter of the series.

But now his path will cross with that of traumatized Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper, Prax Meng who is only trying to desperately find his daughter after his outpost was destroyed by something, and Chrisjen Avasarala, a foul-mouthed UN official, whose balancing the use of political power and truth to achieve the right goals for everyone involved.

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The story continues to be compelling while human greed finds new lows while human survival is also a factor of the story.

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To be honest, I enjoyed reading these books and unlike some trilogies that are hard to pick up in subsequent volumes, this one wasn’t hard to get back into, though my preference is to wait until an entire book series is out before snatching up the series to read.

I like the style in how the story is presented, flip flopping back and forth between characters from their perspectives in the situation.  In some cases, the characters are in the same room or ship.  At other times, across the solar system.  But it all works to weave the tale to the end.

There are a few supporting short stories out there, but you need to read the first book of The Expanse series so that there’s more reason to what the side-books might mean.

As far as waiting for whole series of books to come out, unfortunately, I don’t always seem to have luxury of the patience to wait!  What about you?

About 

Bruce has been been writing for the web since 1999. He likes to take a more pragmatic approach to most of the news and marketing that gets floated out there while still keeping a light tone about it.

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