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Leviathan Wakes: 11/06/19

Leviathan Wakes

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey is the first of the Expanse series. It's technically science fiction but it uses elements of the police procedural and the detective noir genres.

The narrative is divided between alternating points of view. First there is Jim Holden, the XO of an ice mining ship that is destroyed by terrorists. The other is Detective Miller who is trying to track down the whereabouts of a missing heiress. Of course these two events end up being interconnected but how they are is part of the fun.

The mystery takes place on space ships and on space stations in the far reaches of the solar system. The world building is as complex and nuanced as Cowboy Bebop, with some of the three way politics feeling like the Mars First plot of Babylon 5.

But there is also a horror aspect to this science fiction. Imagine nanobots and zombies. What's really going on is somewhere at the intersection of The Thing and Generator Rex and The Fifth Element.

While all of this narrative takes place in space, it happens to sit in the road narrative spectrum. With the two protagonists, we're presented with the scarecrow and minotaur travelers (99). Miller and Holden take turns as protector and prisoner. If we look at the end state, the final destination, if you will, then Miller is the minotaur — trapped by circumstances beyond his control, and Holden is the scarecrow, the protector. The destination is home (66). Or rather, it's a desire to protect home, and to direct a newly created entity to a home that won't endanger humanity. Finally, the route is offroad (66). It's through space via a variety of space ships. All together it's a scarecrow and minotaur protecting their homes via and offroad route.

I know there is also a television series based on this book series. I haven't seen any of it, but I plan to.

The second book in the series is Caliban's War (2012).

Five stars

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