3 January 2013

Read of the Year: A Review of Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

In the final days of 2012 I finally found a book worthy to claim as the Read of 2012.   Among the alarming stack of books read there were some notable recommendations.   However there wasn't one book that screamed at me to scream at you to read it.  You must be thinking how can I even say that considering  I read Ready Player One.  Sure did, cannot argue that fact.    I am all for admitting that the book is cool.   So cool that I bullied quite a few friends into buying it.    But (tends to always be a but) when you think about it, would you read that book again?   The Read of the Year really is going to be something you want to go back to; what is the point of being blown away to never wanting to experience it again?  Because Ready Player One really is a hard copy experience of living/breathing/dying in the GAME, once you journey to the final level do you really need to experience that high again? I don't think so.    

That being said, what book knocked me over?  It is Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey.  Now this is where things get a little intense.  Not for the faint of heart, the book is SF at it's purest:  a truly operatic space adventure.  And what a lovely holiday it has been being riveted to the horror found within it's pages. Yes, I did type horror.   

The sub-category space opera has been used by me without fully comprehending it's meaning many a time.  Thanks to seeing the term splashed out in every single review of Leviathan Wakes I looked it up.   Apparently a book that exhibits romanticism or melodrama, usually between two warring factions is a space opera.  Oh, and all of this hububaloo must take place in space to make it legit otherwise you are holding in your hand Anna Karenina.  Now that would be something, Tolstoy in space.

Leviathan Wakes is turning out to be mega-long, keep-it-coming series.  Book two is out with the third to be released in the spring. Co-authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (James A. S. Corey is a sneaky pen name) created a universe in which humanity has expanded beyond the confines of Earth, and settled throughout the solar system.  Like The Unincorporated Series,  a percentage of humans have never lived on a planet, never seen blue skies, finds the idea of walking on Earth terrifying.  Politically you are either of Earth, Mars or the Belt.  The concept of being a Belter has drawn me into this story.  My imagination has come alive contemplating life in a hollowed-out asteroid.  The absolute of space has been wonderfully portrayed in Leviathan Wakes and it is this aspect that makes the book truly remarkable. There are not a lot of SF books that successfully draws you into a world that seems probable but also enviable   At least to a point, ignore the horror found in this book and you are all good.  I typed that word again, didn't I.