Hello everyone! Thanks to the Goodreads SF/F Read Along Group, I’m finally getting around to reading Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. This read along will be divided into four different parts. This week we’re covering Chapters 1 – 14. So don’t read any farther if you don’t want to see spoilers for the first fourth of the book!
1. First impressions! We’re given two main POVs here, a lot of important information, and a big fat (intriguingly political) murder mystery in space. What’s your take on the setup so far?
The political situation reminds me a lot of the Revolutionary War. Divide between colonies and a distant, more militarily powerful motherland. Conflicts over taxation and shipping. I don’t know if this was intended, but it’s the parallel I’m bringing into the book.
As for everything else… I really have no idea. I’ve got the feeling some big reveals are to come.
2. Regarding the narrative: we get the bulk of the story so far from the POVs of Miller and Holden. What do you think of each character, and how do you think they compare to one another? Do you think their paths might cross or are we looking at more of a Game of Thrones style approach to the story’s arc? For that matter, which might you prefer?
Both of them have quite a bit of work left to do to impress me and make me remember them. Honestly, they just feel like familiar character types. Miller is the hard boiled detective who lives for his job (presumably a factor in his divorce, another character trait that feels familiar). Holden is the reckless American captain, an underdog who’ll fight the odds and come out on top. I’ve seen plenty of these characters before, and Miller and Holden aren’t doing much to distinguish themselves.
I think it’s possible that Miller and Holden’s paths could cross. If I have to make a prediction though, I’d guess that they won’t meet in person but will somehow exchange communication. Whatever ends up happening, I’m sure that the actions they take will impact the other.
3. Let’s talk about Julie Mao, and THAT prologue. Given what we know about her by the end of chapter 14, do you think Julie might just be a victim of circumstance or is she more deeply involved in whatever is going on?
Wow. Yeah, we’ve got to talk about that prologue.
Mainly the fact that there was apparently a giant glob of living human flesh? Julie didn’t seem to be expecting THAT. Not that I can blame her. I was a bit freaked out myself and wishing I hadn’t decided to eat lunch as I read.
I do think that the giant glob is a sign that there’s another level to everything that’s happening, one that our POV characters can’t even begin to fathom. Maybe it’s connected somehow to those eight mysterious ships who are currently attacking Holden?
Back to the subject of Julie, I don’t think she knows anything about greater schemes. Why else would her father send her that email. On that subject…
4. Chapter 14 ends with Miller contacting Julie’s father; do you think his hunch about dear old Dad knowing some things is right, or should he listen to Shaddid on this one?
Oh he definitely knows something. I have no clue what though.
Leaving space here for any extra observations/ruminations etc! What else do you think about the story so far?
It needs more ladies. Look, I know I say this about most things, but so far the only significant women have been Julie who it looks like is going to be MIA for most of this book, Miller’s racist boss, and Naomi, who’s all right. But she’s the only woman in the remnants of Holden’s crew, so she’s another case of Only Woman on the Team.
Maybe the book will get better in this regard? I think I remember something about the TV show having good female characters. I can only hope that’s true of the source material.