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Leviathan Wakes (WARNING: Spoilers); aka The Expanse book series discussion
Topic Started: Jan 12 2016, 11:34 PM (925 Views)
bilki
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Let's just give the series its own thread. We could start each post with a page numbers included, or spoiler them. Whichever you all think is easier.

I read Julie's prologue chapter, then skipped to Chapter 15: Holden (page 152) because I needed to know what was going to happen after episode 4 of the show.

Should I go back and read what I skipped over, KMI? :P
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KMInfinity
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I'm up to p. 320. I am actually surprised by how engaged I am given I just recently watched a lot of the plot unfold in the show. I'll add some details/differences with show/questions after dinner.

:-)
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tgir
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My copy is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I'll catch up in a couple of days. I've watched 3 episodes...
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KMInfinity
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bilki
Jan 12 2016, 11:34 PM
Let's just give the series its own thread. We could start each post with a page numbers included, or spoiler them. Whichever you all think is easier.

I read Julie's prologue chapter, then skipped to Chapter 15: Holden (page 152) because I needed to know what was going to happen after episode 4 of the show.

Should I go back and read what I skipped over, KMI? :P
Did you read forward from p. 152, or just that chapter? If you read forward, you should just keep going...


So, in general I think the book is terrific in its own way, better than the show in character development, but though the descriptive world building is excellent, the show's visuals are awesome given syfy's usual.

One big BIG difference for me is in Miller's character. IMO I think he's much more nuanced and sympathetic in the book. His motives and thinking are complex yet understandable. The "twist" when he realizes his self delusions are poignant.

One "show wins" is in how well they flashed back to the Anderson Station. This was pretty cut-and-dried in the books, background/complexity for Fred Johnson. The show made me care about those rebels and their kids, and pretty quickly captured a whole range of emotions when it was clear their fates were doomed. Another is in the portrayal of the Donnager crew and ship, especially Adm. Yao

Some smaller criticisms and differences:

--I didn't realize for a few chapters that we would be limited in viewpoint to only Holden and Miller. Not sure that I like that style of storytelling. I know it's "easy" and I guess writers look down on it? but I like omniscient 3rd person multiple POV.

--So much more detail explaining the social and political dynamics. The worldbuilding is truly impressive.

--The book makes it clear Holden and his crew are ordered by their employers to cooperate with the Martian navy. It wasn't some random connection. That makes the show feel more coincidental and manipulated, imo. But I guess that also increased suspense. Yet, I think the show lost something by emphasizing the hostility and fear Holden and crew face when on the Donneger, instead of the rapidly developing camaraderie between them as the Martian team sacrifices their lives to get Holden out safely wso he can exonerate the MCRN..

--The book almost immediately gives positive background for Fred Johnson. How he ended the Pallas Colony miner revolt peacefully. And later, spins his relationship with Holden differently. The book develops trust and respect between them whereas the show has them essentially coercing each other to gain their ends. Holden GIVES fred the data cube, in the show Fred sneaks it off the El Tee's corpse.

*********************to Ch.11.

Have you reached Eros yet, Bilki? That should be E7 or E8. The show feels rushed, getting from Tycho and Fred to Eros. I'd be lost and thinking the show was back to being confusing if I hadn't read... But I think folks are right who say the first season will not cover the entire 1st book.



Good review of the book: http://kellyjensenwrites.com/2013/08/28/review-leviathan-wakes/ "James S.A. Corey is the combined pseudonym of Daniel Abraham (Long Price Quartet) and Ty Franck (serial collaborator). One is responsible for Miller, the other for Holden." Well!
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bilki
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Quote:
 
Did you read forward from p. 152, or just that chapter?
I'm finished. Probably the fastest I've ever read a book that size. It was hard for me to put it down when it was time for bed, lol.

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One big BIG difference for me is in Miller's character. IMO I think he's much more nuanced and sympathetic in the book. His motives and thinking are complex yet understandable. The "twist" when he realizes his self delusions are poignant.
Agreed! Even with skipping the first 150 pages, I liked Miller as soon as I started reading. That hadn't happened with the show. And when I realized he had fallen in love with Julie, it endeared me to him even more. I suppose the show thinks it needs to make things more dramatic but I like how his love for Julie was recognized by the bartender (right?) in the book. No big announcements by Anderson Dawes. Miller played his cards closer to his vest in book, I thought.

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The book develops trust and respect between them whereas the show has them essentially coercing each other to gain their ends. Holden GIVES fred the data cube, in the show Fred sneaks it off the El Tee's corpse.
I was disappointed how the show made it more antagonistic between them because I enjoyed how it played out in the book.

The Rocinante crew feels more like a cohesive unit in the book. I think the show would benefit from a greater sense of comradery between them.

The Eros incident is what made me go :eek:

I loved how Naomi handled Holden's confession after he woke up from their escape from Eros.

It's funny how the show sucked me into this world but now I see it as inferior after reading the book. But I'm so bad at visualizing that it's cool to see things like Tycho Station and the ships. I'm looking forward to see how the Eros incident will look on screen, especially the scene in the bathtub.

Curious to hear what you think of how things play out at Thoth station, KMI. And looking forward to tgir joining the conversation!

Didn't someone else get a copy of the book?
Edited by bilki, Jan 14 2016, 12:03 AM.
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Krystal
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The book is on my Kindle and I will start it as soon as I finish my current book. I am reading John Grisham's Rogue Lawyer and it is a real page turner. I usually read on the stepper at the gym and before I go to bed, however there's been a lot of noise and distraction at the gym and I've been putting my headphones on and watching whatever crap is on television if its too noisy because I don't like to read a good book and be distracted.
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KMInfinity
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Quote:
 
The Rocinante crew feels more like a cohesive unit in the book. I think the show would benefit from a greater sense of comradery between them.

Yes! They are still suspicious of each other on the show. In the book, it's clearly stated and shown how they've bonded, and how much they respect Holden, and how much Holden puts them first, sees his mission as making sure this last part of the cant's crew survives.

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The Eros incident is what made me go :eek:
Me too! In a good way. Very tight action writing, lots of character moments.

I laughed out loud when Holden and Miller meet, and then hide out in the tunnel, making plans, and Naomi says, "You too are going to be very bad for each other..." LOLOL

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I loved how Naomi handled Holden's confession after he woke up from their escape from Eros.
I liked that she clearly loves him and is clearly keeping her distance.

There's a lot of chatter from booksters on TWOP 's Book VS Show thread about Ade, who I've already forgotten, and how the relationship between Holden and naomi isn't holding up well in the show. Implied are long LONG term spoilers.

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It's funny how the show sucked me into this world but now I see it as inferior after reading the book. But I'm so bad at visualizing that it's cool to see things like Tycho Station and the ships.
I am going to try very hard to honor the show, but yeah the book is dynamite. I do like the visuals so that will help.

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I'm looking forward to see how the Eros incident will look on screen, especially the scene in the bathtub.
Gulp. Though I suspected pretty early from the Julie prologue what the score was. The show kept Julie's scene more ambiguous.

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Curious to hear what you think of how things play out at Thoth station, KMI. And looking forward to tgir joining the conversation!

I'll finish this weekend. Book two on order. :-)


Edited by KMInfinity, Jan 14 2016, 08:54 PM.
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KMInfinity
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Also...

do you think the show will end before the book? Maybe a season cliffhanger in that bathtub? E6 seemed rushed at Tycho and I can't decide. I'd rather they explore the book(s) leisurely, and develop the characters. Let those big plot moments breathe.
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bilki
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With 4 episodes left...
Spoiler: click to toggle



Quote:
 
There's a lot of chatter from booksters on TWOP 's Book VS Show thread about Ade, who I've already forgotten, and how the relationship between Holden and naomi isn't holding up well in the show.
Yes, I saw them talking about how Ade wasn't Caucasian in the book.


It amused me how I started seeing the show actors who play Naomi and Amos as I was reading the book but didn't do the same with Miller and Holden. Sometimes I would see Steven Strait when they would reference Holden's good looks but I didn't see Miller as Thomas Jane. I would read Fred Johnson's lines in the accent that Jared Harris uses for Dawes, which I never figured out.
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tgir
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My copy arrived! Hope to be caught up by the end of the weekend.
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KMInfinity
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I am on p. 421.

I adore Miller.

That is all for now.
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bilki
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KMInfinity
Jan 16 2016, 02:46 PM
I adore Miller.
Me, too....but he really frustrated me with what he did at the end of that chapter. At least he gave me something to think about, hehe.


I've started Caliban's War and I can see why they've included Avasarala in the show. She's a real firecracker! She says something about Holden that gave me the best laugh I've had all week.
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KMInfinity
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bilki
Jan 17 2016, 10:01 AM
KMInfinity
Jan 16 2016, 02:46 PM
I adore Miller.
Me, too....but he really frustrated me with what he did at the end of that chapter. At least he gave me something to think about, hehe.


I've started Caliban's War and I can see why they've included Avasarala in the show. She's a real firecracker! She says something about Holden that gave me the best laugh I've had all week.
See, I LIKED what he did.

I've been increasingly finding Holden to be SELF-righteous rather than righteous...

I finished the book...more after I finish my schoolwork. Duty before pleasure. :coffee:



Caliban in transit....
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bilki
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KMInfinity
Jan 17 2016, 10:10 AM
See, I LIKED what he did.
I knew you were going to say that, lol.
Spoiler: click to toggle
Edited by bilki, Jan 17 2016, 10:37 AM.
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KMInfinity
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bilki
Jan 17 2016, 10:36 AM
KMInfinity
Jan 17 2016, 10:10 AM
See, I LIKED what he did.
I knew you were going to say that, lol.
Spoiler: click to toggle
Yeah, Holden is right about Miller and Miller is right about Holden. They see each others' flaws. Usually I'm not so nihilistic and would gravitate towards Holden's POV. Did your edition of the book have the interview with the authors? They discuss this very thing.

Stargate SG1 TV series dealt with the issue of secrecy their entire 10 year run. While I do believe, theoretically, that information should be 'freed' for all, I also see Miller's point that completely spilling all information can be irresponsible, especially when it is incomplete, or out of context, or (yikes) too complex for the general public to handle. Usually I hate the idea that a 'chosen few' are best able to dealt with the intricacies of complex decisions, but Stargate effectively developed that theme well. I wonder if that will be a major focus with Avasarala's role in Caliban. The older I get, the more I doubt that the general public has a clue. (cough cough..TRUMP!) Maybe the hope of a benevolent dictatorship is worth the risk of a tyrant?

I have a bunch of pages dog eared to reread and comment on. I'll start with this: Chapter 36 ends with Miller assuring Holden that the right thing to do was throw the safe into the sun. To wipe out the protomolecule completely. I guessed immediately that meant
Spoiler: click to toggle


Also, I am pondering a lot concerning some of the things Dresden did say. The way Holden, and Fred, and even Miller were being pulled into his oratory, his rationalizations, I'm wondering if that isn't misdirection by the authors. The assumption stated by Dresden and accepted by everyone is that the protomolecule was sent as a weapon. Huh? 2 billion years ago? It's just a basic terraforming strategy, exactly what the Martians are doing on Mars. How is that a 'weapon?' Also, I'm waiting for someone to point out some basic SF theory about aliens that's been LONG accepted (The Fermi Paradox): One is that there's only a tiny chance that intelligent alien life coincides with us because....if it is really advanced (godlike, as they describe) they will be uninterested in us, and probably 'real estate' as we know it. (Again, Stargate explored this well with "Ascended beings.") https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox#The_Fermi_paradox_itself_is_what_prevents_communication See #6.12


PS - I think, since this isn't a book club thread discussing a chapter a week or something, we should consider the thread to be spoiler-filled for the entire book. Otherwise, I'll go crazy trying to read it. :D I'll message Gate to see if she can insert a post at the top of the thread.
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bilki
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A spoiler notice is a good idea. This thread could be dangerous, otherwise.


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I'll start with this: Chapter 36 ends with Miller assuring Holden that the right thing to do was throw the safe into the sun. To wipe out the protomolecule completely.
It was strange to me that Miller thought throwing the safe into the Sun would solve anything. Being the cynic that he was, I don't understand why he didn't assume there were more protomolecule samples than what was in that safe and what Eros had become. While trying to figure out something else, I spoiled myself on Julie becoming a part of the protomolecule. That you figured it out beforehand was some keen insight on your part.

I've grown to like the term protomolecule. I did chuckle at someone complaining about the term "vomit zombies" on AV Club.


Quote:
 
Also, I am pondering a lot concerning some of the things Dresden did say. The way Holden, and Fred, and even Miller were being pulled into his oratory, his rationalizations, I'm wondering if that isn't misdirection by the authors. The assumption stated by Dresden and accepted by everyone is that the protomolecule was sent as a weapon. Huh? 2 billion years ago? It's just a basic terraforming strategy, exactly what the Martians are doing on Mars. How is that a 'weapon?'
It was so odd to me that they concluded that Phoebe was some kind of bioweapon. Really? It made Dresden sound paranoid and unintelligent. I was pleased when Miller commented later on (I think when he was back on Eros and communicating with Julie) that it was unlikely that Phoebe was sent as a weapon.

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Also, I'm waiting for someone to point out some basic SF theory about aliens that's been LONG accepted (The Fermi Paradox): One is that there's only a tiny chance that intelligent alien life coincides with us because....if it is really advanced (godlike, as they describe) they will be uninterested in us, and probably 'real estate' as we know it. (Again, Stargate explored this well with "Ascended beings.")
I liked how in C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet the species on the other planets didn't want to have anything to do with us, hehe.
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KMInfinity
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I liked how in C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet the species on the other planets didn't want to have anything to do with us, hehe.
Thulcandra! The black hole no one dares approach. :firemad:

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bilki
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KMInfinity
Jan 18 2016, 01:00 AM
Thulcandra! The black hole no one dares approach. :firemad:

:rotf:

It's been 9 years since I've read the book and it still gives me a chuckle.
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Krystal
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Well, I just started the book and have high hopes for it. I like the author's descriptions and the characters seem pretty interesting. I find the show confusing at times in the book will really help.
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Krystal
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I read a recent article where Stephen Hawking is predicting the end of humankind in the next 100 years. He attributes it to artificial intelligence. I actually would not doubt that. And when Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump and he actually has a chance to win the presidency I think it might be a very good thing. Except for the fact that he would probably destroy the United States and possibly start a third world war which would destroy humankind even quicker. I am really doubtful that we will make it even to the other planets let alone anywhere else in the next 100 years.
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bilki
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Was he talking about the extinction of human beings? 100 years seems short-sighted, especially considering we're wired for survival.

I'm not convinced we'll be living in space in the timeline of The Expanse novels but I do believe that the more things change, the more they'll stay the same, lol.
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KMInfinity
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There are a ton of doomsday scenarios, and have been ever since the Manhattan Project. Einstein famously said the next major war will be fought with sticks and stones.

Every year, when I teach my Cold War unit, I am amazed that MAD seems to have worked....so far. It is actually one of the things that makes me believe in divine grace, human stupidity and evil nothwithstanding.

The AI takeover does seem more and more possible. Terminator scenarios and driverless killer cars - except my students say we'd easily end an AI takeover with an EM pulse - it would just come at a cost of our technological society - back to stone age again.

Heinlein predicted the 100 years between 1950-2050 would be "The Crazy Years" and wow when I re-read his novels he really does hit the nail on the head a LOT. But he also says these times are sort of like birth pangs - painful and bloody, but necessary to force humanity into space, and into a more enlightened future - IF doomsday doesn't happen. It's a race between doom and destiny.

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but I do believe that the more things change, the more they'll stay the same, lol.
Yep! I pimped the show during my class's 'free discussion' circle. (THEY pick the topics - one of my geeky students chose science fiction.) I described The Expanse as a retelling of 19th century imperialism set in the asteroids. One commented, "So, it's called The Expanse because it's also punning on expansionism, and Eurocentric is replaced by Terra-centric." I think she's right!
Edited by KMInfinity, Jan 22 2016, 09:31 PM.
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KMInfinity
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Double posting because I'm lending the book to a friend and want to mention....


The END of the book..... SPOILERS>>>>













I sort of figured out how the end was going to play out. I was hoping I was wrong. The second half of the book really explores Miller as a tragic figure, he's doomed in his love for Julie, doomed by his own judgement, hurt by the self realization and self knowledge he gains. Yet determined that he will take a path that leads to redemption. (I am such a sucker for redemptions....) I'm not sure what it means that he 'saves' Julie by crashing on Venus and how that will play out in the future, especially if he is also infected by the protomolecule. I don't really want to see a hybrid JulieMiller. Maybe she has enough control to heal him and remake him. They've hinted the PM is like some magical elixir.

Meanwhile, I was pretty disgusted with Holden right up to the end. Stiff necked, self righteous, mean spirited, big ole meanie to Miller by not letting him crew with the Rocinante, breaking the final piece of Miller's heart. Now HE needs redemption. :rant:

I haven't begun Caliban. Eye issues. grrrrrr Should we just continue in this thread with sequels?
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Krystal
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Yes I remember doomsday scenarios, I am old enough to have put my head under the desk when I was in grade school like that would save us all from a nuclear explosion. But even if we all need one another it wouldn't have wiped out humanity. I think an artificial intelligence really could do that. It's nice that your students are so optimistic however if we really create something that is that much more intelligent than us obviously it would take care not to be easily destroyed and I don't believe that anything that intelligent would have any use for us at all. So in essence we would be some stupid gods that created something that was much more better or worse depending on how you looked at it.

The other thing that we could really do a good job in depleting quite a few humans on would be bio-weapons. We've been developing those since the seventies at least and so have other countries and if some of this shit ever get flu still be some serious issues as well. Of course it wouldn't get rid of every person in the world but it would do a pretty good job on the so-called civilized societies and cities. Even in the seventies my microbiology professor who used to work for the government said we have literally tons of botulism toxin stored all over the place. Some of that in the water supply have any major city would be pretty lethal. I don't know why some of that shit hasn't happened already because it's pretty sloppy the way they keep it. It's easy and cheap to make you can make it in a jelly jar.

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bilki
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LEVIATHAN WAKES---SPOILERS INCLUDED!

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Should we just continue in this thread with sequels?
That works for me. I don't have a problem beginning my posts with a heading of which book I'm discussing.

I'm not moving through Caliban's War as quickly as LW, mostly because I haven't had as much time to read. I may have a little more free time this week than last week.

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Meanwhile, I was pretty disgusted with Holden right up to the end. Stiff necked, self righteous, mean spirited, big ole meanie to Miller by not letting him crew with the Rocinante, breaking the final piece of Miller's heart. Now HE needs redemption.
I did think Holden was being quite stubborn with the way he refused to allow Miller to continue on with them on the Roci but I wasn't disgusted with him. Maybe you have a bigger soft spot for Miller than I do, hehe.
Edited by bilki, Jan 27 2016, 12:09 AM.
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Krystal
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I'm only at 20% with the book so I'm still ahead with the shows. I don't like Miller all that much but maybe I'll warm up to him. It is good to read the book because there are a lot of details that you really don't get from the show. I have to say the woman who plays the ambassador from Earth certainly has some interesting clothes and jewelry.

I am enjoying the book and I imagined that this particular TV series will be based on the first book. I know there are other books but I doubt that I would read them without taking a break first.
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bilki
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I don't like Miller all that much but maybe I'll warm up to him. It is good to read the book because there are a lot of details that you really don't get from the show.
I think the details you get in the book are the main reason I like Book!Miller more than the show version. I was more amused by the dog-with-a-bone persistence with which he pursues Julie in the book. I also enjoyed his interactions with Anderson Dawes in the book more than the show.

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I have to say the woman who plays the ambassador from Earth certainly has some interesting clothes and jewelry.
Avasarala. She's a main POV character in Book 2.
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Krystal
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We just saw the last two hours of the series, and Miller was on the ship with the others so I'm not quite sure what people are talking about above when they say holton wouldn't let Miller on the Roci.

I am not quite done with the book. I'm still confused and maybe I will figure out by the time I finished the book exactly what this contamination is and who thought it was a good idea to use it. Is it a bacterial contamination meant to kill people or is it an alien life form. In the very last moments of the TV series the guy that was left in the tunnels seem to be swooped up by something. Do the humans become carrier for an alien life form? Why were they radiating the people with this disease and Julie's body?
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Krystal
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At the end of the TV series they say that this show is renewed and I guess it will then go on to the next book for plot. I may or may not read the next book right now or may wait to closer to the second season being released. I don't imagine that'll be anytime soon though. Does anybody know what kind of ratings the series got?

I actually liked all of the characters in the storyline and I like the actors who portrayed them as well. I thought they were well cast.
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bilki
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Krystal, I'm going to answer all of your questions but there will be spoilers for the book involved. BEWARE!




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Miller was on the ship with the others so I'm not quite sure what people are talking about above when they say holton wouldn't let Miller on the Roci.
This happens in the book after the book characters meet Antony Dresden. He was the guy in Julie's room shooting her up with radiation but he doesn't show up in the book until a little later.

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Is it a bacterial contamination meant to kill people or is it an alien life form.
It's called the Protomolecule, and it was sent to our solar system by aliens. I think in the book they say that it isn't an actual life form but it does interact with human DNA.

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Why were they radiating the people with this disease and Julie's body?
High doses of radiation causes the Protomolecule to replicate itself more quickly.

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I guess it will then go on to the next book for plot
There's at least 1/3 of Book 1 left where the series left off. I'm assuming Season 2 will be a combination of Books 1 and 2.
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