Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Another Hugo nominee.
A strange mix of a noirish detective story, zombie horror and hard science fiction. The book starts with an apparent pirate attack against a space ship. Soon the attack turns out to be something which isn’t from ordinary space adventure but from a horror story. Then a space tug which was transporting an ice asteroid towards the inner systems receives the distress call from the attacked ship and finds something unexpected after finding it. At the same time, a work weary police officer is ordered to track down and if necessary to kidnap a young woman, whose influential family wants her out from the outer solar system, and sooner rather than later. While he is investigating the case he finds himself being fascinated by the life of the young woman.
Very soon events (which seem to be very carefully calculated to cause as severe effect as possible) cascade and it seems a major war covering the whole solar system is imminent. Why would someone want to cause the most widespread war in human history which might leave the major planets (Earth and Mars) devastated?
A fairly thick book, which was especially in beginning written in an irritating "bestseller" style, where every single chapter ended with a major cliffhanger. That tendency somewhat diminished when the plot got more complicated, but there were some shades of that through the whole book. The pace seemed to vary; there were some stretches where fairly little happened, and then stretches of furious activity. The writing was ok, not bad but not especially good either. Some condensing might have been a good idea. As whole this was a nice and readable action story, but nothing which would really have made an impression. This isn’t going to be my number one choice on the Hugo award voting.