Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey
Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey (Italian edition)

The novel “Leviathan Falls” by James S.A. Corey was published for the first time in 2021. It’s the ninth book in the Expanse series and follows “Tiamat’s Wrath“.

Laconian High Consul Winston Duarte has awakened and, after extending his consciousness to reach out to Admiral Trejo and tell him they were thinking too small, vanishes. Trejo immediately orders a return to the Laconia system and charges Colonel Tanaka with the task of finding Duarte. One trace is linked to the High Consul’s daughter Teresa Duarte, part of the crew of the Rocinante.

Dr. Elvi Okoye continues her investigation into the portal builders and the mysterious force that destroyed them. She must use Xan and Cara, the young people who got altered, to try to probe a part of the universe totally alien to humans. Their remote connection to Amos Burton complicates the situation.

In the previous eight novels, the Expanse series has only occasionally addressed the question of the aliens behind the protomolecule and portals. The authors chose to create a mystery linked to beings that are really alien who, also due to the level of their technologies, challenge human capacity for understanding. In this final book, they go a little further but not too much. In essence, there’s no longer the complete mystery but we still remained far from getting complete explanations. For the series finale, it seems to me a choice that just gets around it.

The other problem I have with “Leviathan Falls” is that the plot related to the aliens all too often fades into the background to develop other subplots. In the case of Alex’s son Kit, only a few chapters concern his personal story but honestly, it has very few significant elements, so I found it almost useless. The subplot centered around Colonel Tanaka’s mission takes up too much space in my opinion. It includes various elements of Tanaka’s personal story, and in the final book of the series in my opinion, adding a new protagonist in such a heavy way ends up distracting from the important parts of this conclusion.

I much preferred the parts of the novel centered around the Rocinante crew. They are the protagonists of the series until the end, so in their case, it’s necessary to consider their personal stories with relationships that have lasted for decades. The parts about Elvi Okoye and her research about the aliens and the bits that include Winston Duarte are also fine with me because they are useful to the larger story.

I found the Expanse series to be of mixed quality and hoped the ending would be on the upper side of the bar. Many things happen in “Leviathan Falls” but on various occasions, the events seemed to me to be fillers, digressions from the significant parts of the story. There’s at stake even more than the future of humanity, so those are the parts that are really interesting. Everything else seems added to make this book about as long as the previous ones.

It’s a series finale that has various flaws but it’s a finale to a long series with ups and downs but all in all with more merits than flaws. At times, I found it overrated but overall it seemed to me well constructed. If you started the Expanse series, you must absolutely read it all up to “Leviathan Falls”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *