I remember adding this book to my queue about two years ago. I bought it six months ago with two of the sequels because I anticipated really liking it. I read a fair bit of science fiction as a kid and I’m just starting to come back around to it. I wanted to read Leviathan Wakes because it sounded interesting, had excellent reviews from people I respect, and a supremely awesome tagline.
Leviathan Wakes is a little bit of Firefly, a little bit of Battlestar Galactica, a little crime noir, and a little mild horror. There is a lot to this book. The scope is huge. There are a ton of characters and multiple points of view. The novel takes place in our solar system which I found really interesting. Humans have populated Mars, moons of planets like Jupiter and Saturn, and large asteroids in the asteroid belt. There are fierce rivalries between people from the different locations. Earthers and Martians formed a loose alliance. Earthers are known for being shorter and more stout due to living with the strongest gravitational pull in the solar system. Mars was settled by a mix for Texans and Chinese immigrants so they have darker skin than the Earthers as a whole. Martians are taller and thinner than Earthers due to the lesser gravity on Mars. Earth possesses a larger navy than the Martians but the Martian Navy is considered more advanced. Those that populate the asteroid belt are known as Belters. Belters are the tallest humans but have no centralized government. A group known as the Outer Planets Alliance is the major player in the belt but viewed as a terrorist organization by Earth and Mars. The Belt reminds me of Firefly a great deal. While the planets, moons, and asteroids are not terraformed like in Firefly, humans have built domes and developed the technology for artificial gravity. The Belt strikes me as the wild west much like the Firefly did.
There are elements of the main character, Jim Holden, that also remind me of Firefly. Jim Holden is the Executive Officer on an ice mining vessel and ends up on a shuttle with three other crew members. Holden is an Earther and his crew consists of two Martians and a Belter. A great deal of racism exists between different groups of people which adds one more source of potential conflict for the crew.
If this sounds interesting, read Leviathan Wakes now. I’ll include more about this particular universe in the subsequent reviews.