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Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse) Paperback – 15 Jun 2011
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About the Author
James S.A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. They both live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Find out more about this series at www.the-expanse.com.
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Flippancy aside, Hartwell and Cramer define space opera as "colourful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, and in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues, and very large-scale action, large stakes."
Leviathan Wakes can barely be defined as a space opera, as it is restricted to the Solar System. Unless one traverses galaxies and dimensions, the plot seems mundane and pedestrian. EE ‘Doc’ Smith is still one of the greatest proponents of the sub-genre of ‘space opera’ Triplanetary [Kindle Edition]. Peter Hamilton The Reality Dysfunction: The Nights Dawn trilogy: Book One: 1 [Kindle Edition]is his avatar/reincarnation. Alternatively, ‘Doc’ Smith has time traveled and adopted the mortal form of Peter Hamilton.
The story alternates between the viewpoints of Holden and Miller and becomes stultifying at times as the early half meanders along. But the action intensifies once the villain enters in the form of a (spoiler alert) virus from another galaxy. The havoc caused by space-battles and horror by the virus make gripping reading.
The ending was rather abrupt and hopefully segues into part two of the Expanse series.
Two glaring medical errors: Ciprofloxacin is not used in the treatment of syphilis even now (the drug of choice is still penicillin) and there is no way the bacterium will ever become sensitive to the drug. It is ironical that medical science in the novel has progressed to the stage that radiation poisoning can be treated but syphilis remains untreated! The other blooper was measuring blood oxygen saturation as mmHg whereas it is expressed as a percentage; blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury.
These minor faux pas aside, the book is a rollicking read and hopefully the tempo is maintained in the entire series.
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