Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Book Review: Leviathan Wakes

This was recommended by an old friend, and between it and Stranger Things, I'm reliving my late 80's-early 90's teenage years. It feels like the good episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation but with more detail, politics, realism, and grit. Einstein remains right in this universe -- no one can exceed the speed of light. Some advances in propulsion allow journeys among the planets and asteroids of our own system, but it's much more like sea voyages than "snap your fingers and you're there" warp drives (don't even get me started on Star Wars light speed). It's also fairly politically realistic, at least more so than the highly polished Star Trek universe or the highly myth-driven Star Wars universe. As a result, it feels like it could happen. And happen it does. The plot moves at breakneck speed through a multitude of genres. I don't care for zombie horror that much, but then it moves on to detective noir, and then a technical space battle that feels like a war movie. The characters are deftly drawn (for sci-fi, which does involve a handicap). I especially like how the idealistic leader figure is portrayed, neither rosily nor cynically. Overall, even though this was a long book, I was tempted to jump into Book 2 of the series right away, because it's that good. Enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.

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