Author: James S.A. Corey
Publisher: Orbit Books
Leviathan Wakes is much more than your garden variety Sci-Fi novel, sure it has the weight of 500 plus pages behind it and most of the technical jargon down, but there is more to it than that. There is more than at first meets the readers eye and this is what makes it so good.
The story is set in an unspecified future, where the world is split into three nations of sorts; The Belt, Earth and Mars. The nations, while this is not specifically discussed, seem to have a fragile peace and anything can rupture it. The peace is threatened when the abandoned ship the Scopuli is destroyed by an unknown assailant. Jim Holden, who works on a water hauler, becomes witness to this and the death of his crew members investigating the Scopuli. Evidence points to Mars being involved in the destruction of the ship and as Holden announces this to the world he and the rest of the crew become involved in the political mess that surrounds the solar system.
At the same time the security officer Detective Miller is presented with the case of finding Julie Mao, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur. During his investigation, which seems unpopular amongst some factions, he is directed to the Scopuli and becomes involved with Holden and his crew. They soon discover that there is more to the story than just a simple wanton destruction of a ship; an alien virus threatening to wipe out humanity has been unleashed and they are at the center of it.
James S.A. Corey, the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, have managed to create something very interesting with the first installment of their Expanse series. It’s a science-fiction novel that can appeal to a broader audience, very much in the same way George R.R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice has crossed the line from Fantasy to main stream fiction. There is a difference though; where Martin removes many of the fantasy elements from his books and turns them into historic fiction with focus on political intrigue set in a made up medieval world Corey embraces science-fiction and makes it relatable to most everyone. This is done by delivering just about the right amount of technical terms to make the story believable as well as presenting real human problems and emotions. At the same time Corey pays homage to other genre fiction like the horror genre with the virus ridden plague zombies, thrillers when it comes to the sullen detective Miller with his own dark past and just a tiny hint of Western.
There is much to enjoy when it comes to Leviathan Wakes and it does truly get the reader excited about the follow up: Caliban’s War. There is horror, suspense, humor and humanity and several literary references that even the most hardened anti genre fiction reader would find amusing. Now we just have to wait and see if the SyFy channel can stay true to the story and all that is great with it. The language is not too heavy handed either which at times can be the downfall of any sci-fi novel.
Leviathan Wakes is available in Paperback, as an e-book, as well as audio and a 10 episode first season has been ordered by SyFy.
Here is the nest installment in the ongoing Science-Fiction story All the Children Shall Lead. In it we are introduced to some new characters and partial understanding of what this world looks like.
Enjoy it, and feel free to post comments about it.
With pride we would like to present to you our first serial, a science- fiction tale set in the future. The idea is that we will publish a new chapter once every two weeks, but if you are lucky one might appear sooner.
We now are happy to give you the prologue and first chapter, titled PS9, of our first serial; All the Children Shall Lead and is written by C.M. Marry Hultman. Look for the next chapter in two weeks from today…
Cast: Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Moon Bloodgood et al.
When a drama or action show goes into its four season it is often with the bated breath of the viewers. What can be accomplished that hasn’t been shown in the three earlier seasons? Will it become redundant and repetitive, like True Blood or Vampire Diaries or will it try to reinvent itself with new cast members and completely different story arcs, very much like the shows Dexter and Breaking Bad, keeping a very basic connection between the seasons. Comedies need not worry about this and are therefore more prone to extended runs as do Criminal Shows devoid of any kind of continuity.
The category of show that Falling Skies belongs to is very dependent on the viewers’ keeping their interest in what happens next. Of course this is true of all dramatic shows or any show at all, but Falling Skies has to fight an uphill battle that other shows might not have to. It’s a Science Fiction show and apart from a handful of shows from the mid-20th century these have always had a more difficult time to find a place amongst the main stream viewers, with the exception of Star Trek or Babylon 5. Maybe because the scenario is so unlikely and that the common viewer has a hard time relating to Science Fiction, why other shows with more or less unlikely settings aren’t as prone to criticism is another discussion entirely and not prevalent here.
What Falling Skies has managed to do so well is drop the story little by little and not reveal the bigger picture, like other TV shows long gone; Flash Forward or Alcatraz. The strength of the cast and the interaction between the characters is also something the writers have managed very well. As the show evolves so do the figures and how they react to the ever changing world around them. The narrative itself is also a strong point. The writers of the show have, as previously mentioned, been very good at not telling the audience the entire story. Sometimes comics released before the season premiers have filled in the blanks and there are events and people mentioned we never see or meet. This coupled with a united America fighting a horde of invaders clearly appeases a more general crowd.
So will season four be able to continue this trend or is it all coming to an end. Unlike a Science Fiction show like V an end does not seem to be close. Shows that have infinite possibilities and plot lines is always more interesting than a show that hints at everything ending once the main character meets the mother of his children.
The main characters are all ambushed and separated within the first minutes leading the tight-knit group to be split in four camps. This gives a new dimension to the main theme of the show; ‘United one can overcome anything’. The storyline is now open to the journey back to unity and rebellion. The story also takes on somewhat of a nod to the Second World War as Tom Mason (Wyle) is placed in a Ghetto-like environment very much like the ones in Poland and his youngest son Ben is being re-educated in the true spirit of the Hitler Jugend.
One must be impressed with the way Falling Skies comes back again and again and it becomes the strength of it all and it seems like every season premier one becomes excited for what may lie ahead, and with all that is going on in the beginning, this might be the best season yet.