The Expanse Read-along: Leviathan Wakes – Week 4

Banner: glimpse of a space ship above Saturn - text reads Leviathan Wakes Read Along

Just when you think it’s all over, the post-human horror goes full planetbuster and shows the squabbling politicians what escalation really looks like. Pretty much nothing went as I expected in the final act of Leviathan Wakes, guaranteeing I’ll be back for more…

For those new to the Read-along concept – we read a certain number of pages or chapters and blog weekly in response to a host’s prompts. Then we generally share our enthusiasm or ranting – it’s fun, and if you fancy joining in, the schedule is at the bottom of this post – grab a copy and read along (you don’t have to keep to the time table). Our host this week is Sarah of The Illustrated Page.

Be warned – if you keep reading, There Will Be Spoilers.


1. So first off, what do you make of what Miller found inside Eros??

Well, I didn’t see that coming. As Miller slowly fell apart and then took himself off to the interior of Eros, I pretty much thought he’d succumbed to his suicidal impulses – after all, it was pretty clear he really had destroyed what was left of his future, and he’d been fighting his darker urges for a long time. I liked that Holden trusted him to do the right thing – and that he was instantly willing to swing by and rescue him, in spite of their disagreements – and I rather respected his odyssey through Eros.

I didn’t expect him to find what he was looking for. It felt like obsessive mania, an excuse to follow his siren’s song into oblivion – and I’m not sure I’ve really processed my reaction to discovering that he was right all along. After a fashion, anyway.

I really don’t think this is what Dresden was aiming for when he talked about leapfrogging evolution though.


2. Was Miller’s end a noble sacrifice or was it the act of a suicidal man? Is Holden right in wanting Miller to be presented as a person, not a symbol?

Ah, I don’t think we can call it a noble sacrifice. I mean, sure, it was when viewed from the outside – but that rather implies reluctance and the greater good, whereas Miller was a man who’d been looking for an excuse. So I understand Holden’s reluctance to let Miller be glorified for it, but I think Holden should shut up. Honour (or not) the man in his own memory by all means, but Fred’s right – the personal story of a suicidal, trigger-happy detective isn’t the tale that will convince the system to negotiate an armistice.

Besides, based on what we’ve seen so far, who’s to say we’ve seen the end of Joe Miller?


3. Do you believe war between Earth, the Moon, and the Belt is inevitable? Will the they achieve peace, even peace for now?

Actually, the biggest twist for me was the unintentional disarmament of Earth’s arsenal. It can’t be war now: the Martian fleet is badly damaged; Earth itself is vulnerable, and the Belt doesn’t have the forces to take on what’s left of their navies – which I assume are speeding home. So in the short term, I think it has to be peace for now until the dust settles, with all eyes on Venus to see what else they might have to deal with…


4. Do you have any predictions for the next book? Things you want to see more of or find out about?

The name Caliban’s War suggests to me that Phoebe isn’t done working its transformations yet and that we may see worrying developments on Venus – although at a stretch, I’d happily hook Caliban to the Belters and wonder if they do try to seize their independence, taking advantage of Earth and Mars’s current weakness. I don’t have particular ambitions (other than MORE LADIES PLEASE), but I am curious.


I’m also still laughing at Eros going home to Venus. I mean, I’m trying not to read too much into the stories from a mythological perspective – after all, it’s not Corey who named the moons and rocks of our system – but he did choose which to use.


Take a tour of our responses this week:


A round-up of the weekly discussions for Book 1: