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Editorial Reviews

A colossal and staggering take on the future of mankind, James S. A. Corey brings his latest and arguably his best, Leviathan Wakes: The Expanse, Book 1 as a full and unabridged audiobook, narrated by the brilliant Jefferson Mays. This series depicts a populated solar system and the demise of Earth’s resources. Planetary unrest is brimming between the colonies, human and alien alike. With the fateful discovery of a deeply-rooted secret, a full-fledged war could be the ultimate ending of it all. This is utterly spellbinding. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

Humanity has colonized the planets - interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions - the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond. 

Now, when Captain Jim Holden's ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.

©2011 James S. A. Corey (P)2014 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"It's been too long since we've had a really kickass space opera. Leviathan Wakes is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written, the kind of SF that made me fall in love with the genre way back when, seasoned with a dollop of horror and a dash of noir. Jimmy Corey writes with the energy of a brash newcomer and the polish of a seasoned pro" (George R. R. Martin)
"A winning blend of old-school space opera and modern sensibility... Corey combines no-nonsense storytelling with hard-boiled dialogue as the novel races to a truly cosmic ending. An excellent start to a promising new series" ( The Telegraph)
"Corey... has created a refreshingly blue-collar tale, with well-drawn characters and a compelling narrative sweep. Roll on Book Two." ( Financial Times)
"If you love tales packed with worldbuildy details like how humans cored asteroids, pumped them full of atmosphere, and spun them up for gravity's sake, then you'll love this novel to pieces" ( io9)

What listeners say about Leviathan Wakes

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  • Kai
  • 28-09-2017

Excellent beginnings

One of the better sci-fi books I've gone through in a long while. Even though it is the first of a series, it also manages to be self contained enough for satisfaction from this book alone. You should get this if you like sci-fi.

Mays is a fantastic narrator, too. His Belter accents are especially well done. The only criticism I have for him is occasionally it is difficult to tell between some voices.

7 people found this helpful

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Perfect blend of darkness and light in space

The space opera genre for me has never appealed, laden with excessive descriptions of physics and characters beginning and ending with the letter Q and precisely 7 apostrophes. This book changes that for me, it has colour and depth beyond the usual space trope, and a nice splash of humour throughout. Though there's still more than enough technology for the hardcore SF reader. Excellently read too. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Read

This is a great book. So much more than I thought watching the TV series. Loved the TV series but a lot more in depth to the story. Now for book 2.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 05-01-2016

An excellent audio book

A great story better than the TV show. Well recommended. One of the best SciFi books I have had in a while

3 people found this helpful

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It was incredible.

Had i been reading it i think I would have got bogged down in the gap between the third and forth act but i am so glad i pushed through. Tme for the next one.

2 people found this helpful

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Really good stuff

I'm really picky on my sci-fi and there are few authors I'll go back for more on.
Whilst this is more in the hard-sci fi / fantasy meets noir crime thriller in parts, it was the characters that won me over.
Narrator was great. Really really great. Probably a large part of why I liked it so much.

6 people found this helpful

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great book

a great book once you get into it. it starts slow and is a bit of a mind boggle as to the different factions are yat first untill you get about half way through. other than that it's a great listen

1 person found this helpful

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Starts fresh, becomes a boring character study

Lots of action and interesting ideas near the start. Compelling characters. But I couldn't listen past 3/4 of the way.

A good story is founded on good characters, but you cant make the entire second half of the book a dull character study with no compelling reason for the story to keep going. The mystery is solved but the characters grind on.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 08-02-2015

Science fiction tech plus character development

I was pleasantly surprised: plausable and entertaining; attention to detail on the science combined with characters with depth.

I occasionally had difficulty with the narrator not distinguishing characters but it was an enjoyable reading overall.

Recommended to anyone who likes sci-fi grounded in science with some imagination thrown in, along with politics and time spent on character development and introspection.

3 people found this helpful

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complex and intricate

It is in depth and solid, the characters come to life in a totally natural way. Mr Corey has another fan.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 01-02-2016

First book on audible.

Loved it. Different than The Expanse series in TV, but I liked the crew dynamic in the book more.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-2018

Wow of a story and production.

Second time for this book and will follow all books of the Expanse. I'm so hooked. Thanks guys.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ben Luck
  • 31-08-2019

Good read

Really enjoyed the world building. Miller was MVP, looking forward to seeing where the story goes after that final scene

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-08-2019

One day I'll be nostalgic about this story

A little slow to start with, a lot of action and not enough character chemistry for my taste. However, once it picked up it reminded me of Firefly, and the rest was smooth sailing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Neng
  • 03-07-2019

Glims to the future of space

i love a science fiction that pay so many attention to details.

i have never imagined politics in space like. now i have seen it. well, listened it.

i really like how the news are presented in the book. different people/faction will report different point of view of the news and thus it feels very real life.

i have never seen clash of ideas between characters. it is quite thought provoking when the two main characters come together and discuss an action. Both have solid, but drastically different point of views. it was hard for me to decide who is right or wrong.

the book feels like a detective story. keep digging through layers of facts to expose the real truth.

one of the character, Miller, has a really good character arch. don't want to say too much here, but i did not know it is so interesting to see a character spiraling down.

Highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-2020

Even Better

Huge fan of the TV show, but the book and narration just blew me away. I do like the book more, but it was fun imagining characters from the show. Can't wait to listen to the other books!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 10-02-2020

No idea how good the book is ...

... but I could not get myself to listen to the monoton narrator... fudbdiehcbsixbsjzbcjdnxbdj
Dnxisbxjdbdjxbdbxjdbdjdndndj
Dncidbdidbdjxjdosjdbdisndjxj

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marcus Elia
  • 24-10-2018

Hard meta-science-fiction

Recommended for readers of detective, suspense, and science fiction alike. The discomfort from the ragged edges of the deeply flawed main characters— almost caricatures borrowed from noir— is lifted by the relatability of the Everyman secondary characters who love them.
The plot, like the Leviathan antagonist, is simply too complex to sum up in a short review. Fans of Star Trek, the Matrix, and late-20th-c hard sci-fi will all have reference points to navigate from, though, as Corey paints his impression of one possible collision of an extra-solar force with the inward-looking politics of humanity.
The actor’s performance was excellent by virtue of his character voice, and the direction recreated the warm feel of a well-thumbed paperback. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-04-2018

Sci-fi that doesn't forget the "Sci" in Sci-fi.

I moved the show on TV. But as usual, the book is more deep story wise, and I really like how the characters are in the books. It is worth a read even if you have seen the show.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kimmo
  • 23-01-2016

Hard scifi with a human heart

One of the most impressive scifi novels I've read in a long while. The fates of a deconstructed action hero figure and an ideal leader hero in a world too complex for his simple ideals intertwine in a story of an alien first encounter viewed through the lens of horror. Surrounding this all is a plausible, complex scifi setting and characters written with an exceptional grasp at the psychology of what drives people and why.

Very highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 01-10-2017

Even better than the TV show

I am a fan of the TV show and was curious as to how the book would be different..As usual there is a real serperation between the two mediums but were as the tv has to deal with multiple characters to make to more of an opera, the book centres on Holden and Miller as the driving force of the story. Absolutely absorb me for the duration. Definitely recommend. Looking forward to the next in the series.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-11-2017

brilliant

Absolutely amazing, gripping, extremely entertaining, gritty, funny in parts and believable !!! can't wait to read the next one! if u feel the same, give the tv show the expance a try x

18 people found this helpful

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  • RG
  • 24-01-2015

Great Work

Loved this book. Realistic characters, realist setting, excellent story and great performance from the narrator. If you want a real sci-fi story with real people in it then this one is for you. Looking forward to the follow on books.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Charalampos Koundourakis
  • 16-02-2017

Loved it

Excellent sci-fi with a great narrator, what more can one ask?

Must have listened to it almost non stop.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie donoghue
  • 26-10-2017

excellent

excellent story, good characters, can't wait to read more. also comparing it to the tv show.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Robbert
  • 13-09-2017

Fantastic.

One of the best space operas ever to be conceived. A definite must listen if you like space, mystery and a great thought out world.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Leonpaul42
  • 20-01-2017

Terrible Narration

Would you consider the audio edition of Leviathan Wakes to be better than the print version?

Absolutely not,I am just through reading Leviathan Wakes, and after re-joining Audible thought I would try it as an audio book, terrible mistake!. The reader is totally flat, no characterisation, no variation in voices for individual characters, a complete waste especially for such an excellent novel.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Leviathan Wakes?

The book

What didn’t you like about Jefferson Mays’s performance?

Everything

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Epic

Any additional comments?

I hope Audible have another stab at this with a reader who can be arsed.

7 people found this helpful

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  • BSC
  • 13-03-2019

meh

Big fan of the TV series so thought I would enjoy the books, unfortunately not so much. The narration has left much wanting. Imo, when you buy an audio book, you are expecting a performance, not a lecturer reading off his slides.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Scott
  • 26-02-2015

Detailed, rich and excellently paced

If you could sum up Leviathan Wakes in three words, what would they be?

Excellent Space Opera

What was one of the most memorable moments of Leviathan Wakes?

Who needs inertia anyway?

Have you listened to any of Jefferson Mays’s other performances? How does this one compare?

All three in this series, all were well restrained and avoided any over the top stupidity. Characters were subtly different and the story was easy to follow and engaging. Still listening at 3AM on a wednesday morning? Oops...didn't want to be up for work on time anyway.....

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt pride for the main characters achievements a few times, sad at others.

Any additional comments?

The story was excellent with multiple sub-plots all adding to an overarching story which leads through the series. Bought and listened to all three that are currently available, back-to-back without a break. As well written as any Iain M Banks novel which i love. More please, money waiting!

16 people found this helpful

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  • L N Seviour
  • 23-02-2017

Fantastically monotonous.

I was introduced to this, like many other people, by the TV series 'The Expanse' and as fantastic as the TV series is, the book is better.

The narration, however, was... adequate. Maybe because previous audio books I've recently listened were so transformative, this one seemed so comparably average. The pausing at the end of dialogue and the relative lack of intonation did not do the story justice, however it is still worth the experience.

4 people found this helpful

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