I’ll preface this review by saying that I discovered The Expanse through the show, so some of my opinions are going to be based on comparing the book and the Amazon series.
Leviathan Wakes exceeded my expectations in almost every way. I really enjoyed the series – so much so that I finished all three available seasons in a week – and was quite excited to dig into the source material. I expected them to be more-or-less similar, and that the book itself would be a rehashing of what I had already witnessed on screen.
I was incredibly wrong. Leviathan Wakes offers a deeper, more complex look at the story and characters that I found to be refreshing and exciting. Detective Miller, especially, is much more fleshed out and realized in the pages of Leviathan Wakes. His motives and feelings come across much more clearly, and I grew to like his character even more because of it.
I do have a few minor complaints about Leviathan Wakes. The occasional lack of descriptive detail becomes frustrating. For instance, I don’t know if I would have been able to picture what some of the stations and ships looked like if I hadn’t already seen them on screen. This goes for some of the plot, as well. I occasionally found myself wondering if I understood what was happening because I’d already seen the first season of The Expanse. Julie’s connection to the Scopuli, ProtoGen, and the OPA is certainly not as clearly defined here. Some of the dialogue is not well-written, but I feel that it improves over the course of the novel.
That said, I’m quite pleased with Leviathan Wakes and I’m excited to dig deeper into the world of The Expanse.