cover image Leviathan Falls

Leviathan Falls

James S.A. Corey. Orbit, $30 (528p) ISBN 978-0-316-33291-0

Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, writing as Corey, stick the landing in their spectacular ninth and final Expanse space opera (after Tiamat’s Wrath), set in a future where humanity has begun to expand beyond the solar system. For decades, human communities on a number of planets have been subject to the rule of the Laconian Empire—but its ruler, Winston Duarte, is no longer in control after a failed experiment that he’d hoped would grant him immortality, but instead changed him into something other than human. Meanwhile, the extraterrestrial threat to mankind remains, heightened by the discovery that the ancient alien intelligences that created the ring gates that enable intergalactic travel were themselves wiped out by something even more powerful. Reluctant hero James Holden is again committed to doing whatever he can to protect and unite humanity, aided by his crew on the Rocinante, who each face painful choices on the way to the gut-punching conclusion. Multiple perspectives—including that of a ruthless antagonist—create empathy with each member of the scrappy cast without ever slowing the pace or oversimplifying the interstellar intrigue. This fully satisfying resolution renders the entire series an all-time genre classic. (Nov.)