Leviathan Falls (The Expanse Book 9)
November 30, 2021 6:59 PM - Subscribe

The last of the nine novels following the crew of the Rocinante, Leviathan Falls chronicles their final showdown with both the Laconian Empire and the dark gods who killed off the protomolecule engineers, with the entire human race hanging in the balance. (SPOILERS for the entire series inside, don't click this thread if there's the slightest possibility you'll read it).
posted by Ryvar (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Just finished. I've loved this series like few others and this was precisely the kind of ending I'd been hoping for. The way they wrapped up both Holden and Amos was perfect. Book Alex finally makes the right choice. We could all see how the gates were going to end at least four books ago, but they took the time to tell it in a way that made sense.

I found Tanaka to be a surprisingly interesting character who occasionally threw me a bit with choices I didn't see coming: a badass Spartan-warrior-type in the Bobbie Draper mold actually doing the sensible thing and seeking help from a mental health professional while she's basically second in command of the entire human race? There was a bit more depth there than we've had in prior one-off antagonists like Murtry or Marco.

Things I didn't care for as much: not a huge fan of the style for the dreamer sections, and I felt Naomi deserved a better ending where she finally met up again with Filip. It makes perfect sense for her to have suddenly discovered he was still alive with humanity briefly flickering into a hive mind on several occasions.

Overall: it's been a few hours and I'm still grinning like an idiot from that epilogue. Goddamn. What a lovely ending to a series that has so consistently threaded the needle between mass market appeal and the nerdiest of hard SF.
posted by Ryvar at 7:17 PM on November 30, 2021 [4 favorites]

There were times partway through the book where I wasn't particularly happy about it, especially when the stupid stick got brought out for a second. But in the end it wrapped up quite nicely and even had a nice squee! moment. The epilogue got me excited for next spring's novella for sure. It really showed how fucked up the Sol system got from the whole thing.

Later on, I got to thinking how it probably didn't really have to end with the ring gates totally dead. There's clearly a level of activity below which the "dark ones" don't really notice or care. Then again that outcome would very much depend on humanity managing not to be such selfish shits and actually engaging in some long term cooperation.

The other thing kinda left open for speculation is whether or not the station in ring space was actually destroyed and proto-Holden along with it. Clearly the surrounding space collapsed, but we've seen that the station itself is pretty much indestructible even against the dark ones (and the text seems to say that in the book), so it's entirely possible it's still quietly chilling there in its own little universe.
posted by wierdo at 3:07 PM on December 1, 2021

I can't be the only one wishing they would circle back to their old boss, George R.R. Martin, and show him how to finish a series.
posted by whuppy at 9:09 AM on December 2, 2021 [4 favorites]

There's no reason Filip isn't in the Sol system. I hope they reunite in the novella.
posted by whuppy at 9:13 AM on December 2, 2021

I too was really hoping for a Filip reunion. At least Naomi’s in the right system, so we can imagine it ourselves.
posted by something something at 10:58 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is there no 8.5 between the novels short story?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:38 PM on December 3, 2021

Just a 9.5, Sins of our Fathers, coming out March 2022 in and alongside the novella collection Memory's Legion.

I'm hoping for both a Naomi/Filip reunion (give her something for all the times she saved the universe!) and also a bar scene between Filip and Teresa that parallels the classic Babylon5 scene between Vir and Lennier.
posted by kokaku at 3:36 AM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this book and felt like they brought the series to a satisfying conclusion. I admire the professionalism of the authors in writing such consistently great books on a consistent schedule. I don't mean that as faint praise, I think this book is really quite good.

I just wish the final book had spent more time talking about societal structures and less about big space god magic. My favorite parts of the Expanse books were the construction of the Belter culture and economics and politics, pre-gate in the first trilogy. The second trilogy did an OK job extending that humanistic stuff and then the third trilogy introduced a whole new faction with the Laconians. Loved the sociopolitical stuff. Not as excited about the war in heaven. But it was entertaining nonetheless.
posted by Nelson at 11:02 AM on December 10, 2021 [3 favorites]

Man, I'm only 1/3rd through this book and it's a depressing slog so far. It has no humor. I'm starting to not care about the characters, even though I've been enthusiastic about them up until now.

Does anything nice EVER happen in this book?
posted by small_ruminant at 10:54 AM on December 11, 2021

Picked up the book on Friday, finished it today. There was a point around the middle where I had the weirdest sense of Could we just wrap this up, please? I had never had that with any other Expanse book. Huh.

Glad humanity had Amos around to guide it in the aftermath of Laconia, though.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:17 PM on December 12, 2021

I was worried that Amos would die without the energy provided by the other universe so I was glad that the epilogue allayed that fear.

Book Alex finally makes the right choice.

Grandparent is a role that allows for a lot of absenteeism anyway. He can be around for a couple of weeks or months and then back into space for a year.

I ended up starting the book series in December, I've been watching the show and didn't want to start reading the books until the show was finished. I'm hoping that we get more seasons of the show but I'm good with it ending how it did because I'd probably not like whatever they did to age all the characters 30 years. One thing I wasn't a fan of in the series as a whole was how characters from previous books would come back later on. The one exception to that being Cara and Xan because it was tough when they showed up in the Pen and you think about all they must have been put through while they were in there and them being freed at the end of Tiamat's Wrath was the best part of a book that was full of really great parts.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:44 PM on January 24, 2022

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