Cover Illustration by: Daniel Dociu
Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Expanse (Book #9 of 9)
Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera
Pages: 543 pages (Kindle Edition)
Published: 26th March 2019 by Orbit
My last review of 2021 is for the conclusion to the first big space opera series of novels I’ve ever finished to its completion, and I’m glad it’s The Expanse.
And so here we are, at the end of another long series. If you’ve been following my reading journey for a while, then you might realize that usually, the long series I finished are all epic fantasy series. This is why this review is a new milestone for me. Comprising of nine novels and multiple short stories and novellas, The Expanse by James S.A. Corey duo is the first big space opera series ever finished to its completion. Yes, this is the end, and it’s an emotional and satisfying conclusion. Endings are hard to nail, and the authors should be proud of this achievement.
“The love of a parent for their kid is the last thing to go.”
Leviathan Falls continue from where Tiamat’s Wrath left off. But in a way, it also felt like a beginning of a new self-contained installment. It’s the final volume in the series, and although I didn’t feel like I was bored with any of the pages written here, I also wondered whether the first half of the novel—mainly Tanaka’s hunting session—needed to be that long. Honestly speaking, the only reason why Leviathan Falls didn’t receive a full 5 stars rating from me is due to Tanaka’s POV in the first half of the novel. Tanaka, as far as I know, is a new POV character in the series. I don’t have any issue with her POV per se, but I also didn’t feel like her character felt necessary to explore. Or even exist. Tanaka is actually an interesting character, and it’s great to have her on the opposing side of the crew of the Rocinante. But with or without her, the progression and the final result of the series will still be the same. This is the only minor issue I had on the book, and thankfully, Corey more than made up for it in the second half of the novel.
“We also both know that when it comes to getting people to deny their own immediate needs in favor of a greater good, asking nicely almost never works.”
As you can guess, although I had a good time reading the book, a part of me was also worried. Can Corey actually deliver a satisfying conclusion to the series or not? And they succeeded marvelously by making sure, one last time, that the core of the narrative began and ended with the crew of the Rocinante. The crew of the Rocinante has always been the heart and soul of the series since Leviathan Wakes, and I’m gratified we receive a relatively large focus on them in this final volume. I’ll be lying if I say I didn’t feel emotional with the character’s development and ending. The crew has come so far from where they started. The level of understanding and trust they have with each other goes beyond words; they no longer need words to understand each other. And when words spoken from the bottom of their hearts do get exchanged, they felt sincere and poignant. There were several scenes in Leviathan Falls where I’m reminded of the journeys they faced in the previous eight books, and it really felt like I lived through those with them. Corey has done an excellent job in making sure that the characters—not just the crew of the Rocinante—remain at the center of the narrative throughout the entire series.
“Alex had heard the idea that a tool, used long enough and cared for well enough, developed a soul. He’d never been a religious man, but even without going to the supernatural, he felt like there was some truth in that.”
Unfortunately, this is where I must part ways with the review. Everything else belongs in the spoiler-realm. I will, however, say this. The title Leviathan Falls is not only a badass title that works as a contrast to the first book of the series: Leviathan Wakes; there’s a deeper meaning behind this title, and I hope you’ll get to find out for yourself. Leviathan Falls is an outstanding and bittersweet conclusion to The Expanse series, and the future of science fiction—novels or television shows—is brighter with this duo’s contribution in the genre. Bravo, James S.A. Corey.
‘“I absolutely believe that people are more good on balance than bad,” he said. “All the wars and all of the cruelty and all of the violence. I’m not looking away from any of that, and I still think there’s something beautiful about being what we are. History is soaked in blood. The future probably will be too. But for every atrocity, there’s a thousand small kindnesses that no one noticed. A hundred people who spent their lives loving and caring for each other. A few moments of real grace.”’
Leviathan Wakes: 4/5 stars
Caliban’s War: 4.5/5 stars
Abaddon’s Gate: 2.5/5 stars
Cibola Burn: 4/5 stars
Nemesis Games: 4.5/5 stars
Babylon’s Ashes: 3.5/5 stars
Persepolis Rising: 3.5/5 stars
Tiamat’s Wrath: 4.5/5 stars
Leviathan Falls: 4.5/5 stars
The Expanse: 35.5/45 stars
You can order this book from: Blackwells (Free International shipping)
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