Leviathan Wakes - novel discussion (Book 1 Spoilers)

I’ve never started a thread before but I love the Expanse books and want to get the ball rolling with the proposed book club.  I think we should be free to talk spoilers from the current book being discussed and previous books (obviously that doesn’t apply to Book 1 but will be relevant later) but not later books, some folks aren’t reading beyond where the show is and some just haven’t gotten through them all.  I don’t think we need to go chapter by chapter or anything, discussing the book as a whole is probably the way to go.  So let’s talk Leviathan Wakes!

I’ll start with what is probably going to be a controversial opinion: I really dislike Holden.  I think he’s self-righteous, pompous, and makes rash decisions based on his personal moral code without considering situational evidence or getting all of the information.  He doesn’t consider the big picture or how his actions will effect others.  I appreciate that he loves his crew and wants them to be safe but he makes solar system effecting decisions on a whim time after time.  He feels like an impetuous teenager, completely controlled by his emotions, believing that everything that happens to him is The Most Important Thing Ever.

This doesn’t change my love of the books though.  In fact having a main character that I dislike who is well written draws me in all the more because it feels like real life.  Not everyone can make all the right decisions and sometimes dummies end up winning, it just makes the world of the Expanse feel more true to life.

I’ve got a lot more thoughts and opinions but for now I wanted to get the discussion off the ground and see what other people think and want to talk about.

Alkaid13Elisaweeniegirl

Comments

  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    This is a good idea however the question at hand is that most book readers will have also seen the show which is concurrent with Book 3, so do we want a Book only thread with no show spoilers?
  • Alkaid13 said:
    This is a good idea however the question at hand is that most book readers will have also seen the show which is concurrent with Book 3, so do we want a Book only thread with no show spoilers?
    I think so.  The books and show are pretty divergent, getting to the same place but on very different paths.  I personally have read through book 3 but have only seen through half of season 2.  And it would be almost impossible to talk about season 1 without spoiling Book 2.  So I’d say this is book talk only, but that’s just my thoughts and if others would prefer a different route I’m happy to go with the concensus.
  • I am totally up for this.  Just moved and need to find the book though.
    Freiberg
  • Who is your favorite character and why?

    What’s your favorite scene or moment?

    When did you know you were hooked, or I suppose when did you realize it wasn’t for you but you decided to keep hate reading  :D ?

    For me my favorite character is Miller because of his nature.  He’s a man who stands for justice, and understands that sometimes justice and the law aren’t the same thing.  He sees the big picture or at least enough of it that is willing and capable of making sacrifices to see that the best interest of humanity is served.  I also really appreciate his suicidal ideations, because they aren’t made “pretty” and are a legitimate character flaw, he’s a deeply troubled man and that informs who he is and why he makes the choices he does, both in terms of his own sacrifice and his desire to “make right” by his past.

    My favorite moment is, not surprisingly, within my favorite scene.  I love when Miller wanders Eros Station for 30 hours looking for alien Julie, what he things about, what he reflects on and where his mind wanders.  But what I specifically love is the moment when Julie asks him what happens next and he tells her “I don’t know.  We die, maybe.”  It’s such a beautiful moment.  He isn’t redeemed or reborn, he isn’t transformed into something More, he’s just a man who has accepted his death.  He’s brave because he’s scared, there can be no bravery without fear.  He’s chased death for so long and when he finally sees his end he greats it with honesty, he doesn’t know what comes next and that’s okay.  I feel like that’s a lesson a lot of people could take to heart, I know I have.

    As for when I got hooked, well, basically right away!  I’m a sucker for hard sci-fi, especially for good character driven stories that ask big questions about where we’re going as a species.
  • Will add more later when I have time, but just wanted to say how I was surprised that the entire book one only consisted of two PoVs. 

    Neither Holden or Miller are my favorite characters, but I still enjoyed the book quite a bit. I think the plot about the proto molecule was well done, and I was anxious to learn more about it. 
    Freiberg
  • In book one I was in the bag for Miller also and agree Holden was a naive and somewhat annoying boyscout. That my favorite, and least favorite, characters evolved in future books is one of the strengths of their writing.
    Freiberg
  • Finally got to listen to Lunch while I cleaned my kitchen today and A.Ron’s comment that James S.A. Corey said in an interview that Holden was an experiment in writing a Paladin, and how frustrating that sort of character can be, made so much sense!  I can’t believe I didn’t see it before but it’s so obvious in hindsight.  He’s the very definition of the class, and I must say that as much as that class annoys me they have done an excellent job writing him and sticking to the rules of the character.
  • The Paladin quote should be on the back cover of the book because I imagine it takes the edge off of the Holden frustrations early on.

    I read the book when it first came out and thought it was OK but not great and didn't continue with the series. I don't know if I changed or not but after watching the show I went back and re-read the book and really loved it and plowed through the remaining books. I am glad I did because it has become one of my favorite book series I have read/listened to.

    If there are any audiobook listeners, the narrator is the same for all the books I believe and does a pretty good job. He's not as great as the guy who narrated The Martian, the best audiobook recording I've heard, but I'd put him just below.
    Freiberg
  • Jefferson Mays is the guy you want they used a different guy for some of the novellas early on but seems like they handed it all over to Mays and he is great
    Freiberg
  • I'm half way through Book 1, and I'm enjoying it a lot more than the Season 1 of the show (which I was not a fan of.)
  • The book does a great job of making Miller's story such a classic noir detective tale. At the same time Holden's gauntlet gives us a very sufficient look at the scope of the story. I feel like the show did well with the latter and less well with the former. Obviously the show chooses to expand the story from the jump while the books are allowed the narrow focus to really engage with the few characters surrounding the 2(+) POV characters. Which eventually pays off repeatedly in the show,though it feels less earned than in the books of course.
    Freiberg
  • edited October 4
    CapeGabe said:

    If there are any audiobook listeners, the narrator is the same for all the books I believe and does a pretty good job. He's not as great as the guy who narrated The Martian, the best audiobook recording I've heard, but I'd put him just below.
    You come at Jim Dale and Roy Dotrice you best put some respeck on it
    CapeGabe
  • I just listened on audible a few weeks ago. Liked the Miller stuff more than on the show but thought Holden's internal thoughts made a bigger difference than Miller's. Paladins are a pain. 
    Freiberg
  • I feel like Miller's Julie obsession is less well presented on the show as a function of not being in his increasingly despondent/obsessive thoughts.
    Freiberg
  • Byrdie said:
    I feel like Miller's Julie obsession is less well presented on the show as a function of not being in his increasingly despondent/obsessive thoughts.
    I completely agree.  Being in his head as he slowly unravels and contemplates suicide is such an important part of the book and the show is definitely lacking from its absence.  And his last day spent wandering Eros lost in his own thoughts is such a tragically beautiful end to his arc that when he finally finds Porto-Julie and answers her questions of what comes next with “I don’t know, we die maybe” it’s a truly powerful moment.
    Byrdie
  • Freiberg said:
    Byrdie said:
    I feel like Miller's Julie obsession is less well presented on the show as a function of not being in his increasingly despondent/obsessive thoughts.
    I completely agree.  Being in his head as he slowly unravels and contemplates suicide is such an important part of the book and the show is definitely lacking from its absence.  And his last day spent wandering Eros lost in his own thoughts is such a tragically beautiful end to his arc that when he finally finds Porto-Julie and answers her questions of what comes next with “I don’t know, we die maybe” it’s a truly powerful moment.
    Yea, his walking around Eros lost in his own head attached to the dead man's switch is really great stuff and super powerful writing at times. I didn't really expect them to be able to do that in the show to that extent but what it lacked in character development driven punch the show somewhat made up for by making their merging/transcendent deaths brought to screen in a really beautiful way in terms of the effects and ethereal nature of how they portrayed it. It just makes a bit less sense for him to take his helmet off because we haven't been so clued into how over his life is.
    Freiberg
  • Hm. I wonder how they could have gotten Miller to express his spiraling depression in an unforced way. Maybe not possible. Voice over, chat with Holden, chat with Amos, chat with earther partner... Talking out loud to himself wandering the halls? 
  • Going into the show having read the books I almost expected them to go full detective noir and having his inner monologue as voice over at different times. It would be a little problematic to introduce that as a device only to have to abandon it after two seasons but could have been interesting, and could have played interestingly into stuff that happens in later books/seasons that I won't get into because I don't know how to do that hidden spoiler thing.
    Freiberg
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