Book Review: Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1)

Posted on Aug 27, 2022 - 0 min read.


Far in the future, the captain of a small crew and a detective nearing the end of his career begin to unravel a conspiracy that threatens humanity. Earth, Mars, and the Belt vie for control of the greatest scientific discovery in history. The captain, his crew, and the detective are caught in the middle of it.

My thoughts

The book does a great job at setting up The Expanse universe, introducing us primarily to the people of the Belt, their struggles, living conditions on the outskirts of our solar system, and their place in civilization, with Earth and Mars regarded as oppressors. The captain’s story starts off fast and immediately captures your attention, while the detective’s starts off much slower and can drag a bit at times. It’s not until about the middle of the book that the detective’s story begins to feel more consequential. Ultimately the book is a lot of fun, and has some key plot differences from the television series. It’s a literary universe begging to be expanded and explored, with rich characters, deep plot lines, and stellar character development.

Favorite highlights

  • It was funny, he thought, how the ruins of the past shaped everything that came after. It seemed to work on all levels; one of the truths of the universe.
  • when you got right down to it, humans were still just curious monkeys. They still had to poke everything they found with a stick to see what it did.
  • There was a calculus of response time and possible gain. The mathematics of piracy and war.
  • War without end. Well, what was history if not that? And how would having the stars change anything?
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