Leviathan Wakes, the first book in a planned nine-book series called The Expanse, is exactly the book I have been looking for. It is a great mix of science fiction, action, adventure, mystery, and intrigue. Most sci-fi is set in one of two eras: humans are just starting to make it into space, or humans have long been a space-faring society and they've met other species. James S.A. Corey (collaborative pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) set out to write a book about the time in between. Humans have been in space for generations. They've colonized other planets and the asteroid belt, but they haven't made the technological breakthrough required to get beyond the outer boundaries of our solar system. They also haven't met any alien races.
Leviathan Wakes is told in two perspectives. The first is Detective Miller, a belter (someone who grew up in the asteroid belt, where there is less gravity) and a cop who is assigned to find the missing daughter of the CEO of a wealthy Earth-based corporation. The other is Jim Holden, executive officer of an ice mining ship. While on a brief mission, Holden’s ship is destroyed, leaving only himself and a small crew. Holden releases the footage of the destruction to the world, and inadvertently starts a war between Earth, Mars, and the Belt. Through the course of the book, we see how their lives come together and then drift apart in the wake of incredible discoveries.
I loved Leviathan Wakes. It is easily one of the best sci-fi books I have read in a very long time. Every page had me more drawn into the universe Corey was creating, the characters, and the story. It’s clearly inspired by classic sci-fi while also trying to put things on a grand scale. As the story continues, it grows and grows into this huge epic encompassing many different characters, many areas, and many story lines. But through it all, there is one giant looming threat on the edge that no one is quite sure of.
I would suggest this book to anyone who likes sci-fi, detective stories (if they can accept the sci-fi elements as well), the Game of Thrones books (again, if they can accept the sci-fi elements), and anyone looking for a good character-driven book.— From Omar's Recommendations
"It's been too long since we've had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written." --- George R.R. Martin
"This is the future the way it was supposed to be." --- The Wall Street Journal
"As close as you'll get to a Hollywood blockbuster in book form." --- io9.com
"An excellent space operatic debut in the grand tradition of Peter F. Hamilton." --- Charlie Stross
"If you like science fiction with great characters and set in real space, you'll enjoy this one." --- Jo Walton, author of Farthing