Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey is a highly enjoyable novel set a couple of hundred years in the future. It is the first book of the planned “”The Expanse” trilogy. Mars and “the Belt” have been colonized. The Belters are generally loosely at odds with the inner planets and Earth and Mars have an uneasy alliance. All the pieces are pretty much in place for some bit of flame to send everything over the edge into a solar system wide conflict.
The story is told from two quite different points of view. One is Holden, an ex-Earth navy man who we meet as the executive officer of a freighter carrying ice from Saturn’s rings to Belter communities. Holden is somewhat of an idealist. The other is Miller, who we meet as a police detective on the asteroid community of Ceres. Miller is a realist who’s had his dreams kicked down a few to many times and has assuaged that kicking via frequent trips to the bottle.
The book has somewhat the feel of a good “old fashioned” solar system yarn but with all of the science and politics updated to current levels of understanding. Holden and Miller do meet up eventually as the result of looking following both ends of a mystery. Along the way we get to see some of the reasons Belters, Mars and Earth don’t particularly get along, a mutli-way war and a different mystery than either started out looking at.
We get a good overview of the general state of the Solar System and parts of it seem filled in quite nicely. The book does its world building as a nicely integrated part of the story.
As Jo Walton said over on Tor.com, “more like this please”. I thoroughly enjoyed this and recommend it to fans of space fiction anywhere.