Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

The basics

Title: Leviathan Wakes


Series: The Expanse #1

- Leviathan Wakes (2011)
- Caliban's War (2012)
- Abaddon's Gate (2013)
- Cibola Burn (2014)
- Nemesis Games (2015)
- Babylon's Ashes (2016)
- Persepolis Rising (2017)
- Tiamat's Wrath (2019)
- Untitled (2021)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Humanity has colonized the solar system—Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond—but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for—and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why. Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations—and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

Read a full summary of Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey below. If you can’t remember what happened in Leviathan Wakes and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Leviathan Wakes?

  • Juliette has been in a storage locker for over a week. She struggles to break out, and by the time she finally does she finds her crew gone. She spots a head sticking out of a sticky biomass, which asks her for help. Obviously she is quite distraught by this.
  • The Canterbury answers a distress signal from the Scopuli. Led by Holden, a team head towards it. They find the signal is coming from a beacon that has the Mars Congressional Republic Navy’s logo, and suspect it’s to do with them. They head back to the Canterbury, but the ship is attacked before they get there. The Canterbury is destroyed.
  • Holden puts out a message to tell everyone what happened to the Canterbury, and he says that Mars was behind the attack.
  • The company tells Holden to head to the Donnager, which is a MCRN ship. Holden directs his remaining crew there. On the way they receive a messafe from the leader of the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance), whose name is Fred Johnson. He offers Holden his support.
  • The Knight is followed by several ships.
  • We flip to Detective Miller on Ceres, one of the asteroids on the asteroid belt. He is told to investigate the disappearance of Julie and to get her back to her parents.
  • Holden’s message about Mars reaches Ceres, and riots break out all over. Holden goes to stop them and he can’t find any riot gear.
  • Miller’s partner, Havelock, resigns. He doesn’t think it’ll be save for him as he’s an Earther, and there’s likely to be a war with Mars.
  • Captain Yao of the Donnager debriefs Holden. MCRN apparently had nothing to do with the attack on the Canterbury.
  • The ships that were following the Knight attack. Shed, one of Holden’s crew members, is killed. Yao tells Leuitenant Kelly to escort Holden and his crew off the ship.
  • Yao sets the Donnager to self destruct as Holden and the crew head off on the Tachi.
  • Kelly dies of his wounds.
  • Holden decides that Fred Johnson might be their only option, so they go to Tycho Station where he is based.
  • Miller goes through Julie’s files and reads messages between Julie and her parents. It’s not a great relationship. Julie’s parents seemed to know about the attack on the Canterbury.
  • Miller speaks to the leader of the OPA on Ceres – a man named Dawes. Dawes tells Miller that Julie was working on the Scopuli. Dawes also threatens Miller, and tells him to stop working on the case.
  • Miller reports his findings to his superior, who also tells him to stop working on it. Miller doesn’t want to, and is fired because he refuses to stop.
  • Holden reaches Tycho without incurring any more casulties. The crew relaxes for a few days and then Holden is asked to look for Polanski, who Fred believes is an OPA spy.
  • Dawes lets slip that Holden is alive and so Miller looks into docking logs in an attempt to find him. Miller thinks Holden is connected to Julie somehow.
  • Miller figures Holden is heading to Eros and heads out there himself.
  • Holden arrives in Eros and goes to the hotel where they believe Polanski is staying. Guns are pulled on the crew, but thankfully Miller is there to help. They all search Polanski’s room and find a dead Julie on the floor.
  • It looks as though Julie caught some kind of bacterial diseases. Miller looks through her phone, where she was recording her symptoms.
  • The crew finds coordinates for an asteroid, which seems to be where the Scopuli’s attackers are based.
  • Eros is hit by a radiation attack, and people are taken into shelters.
  • Miller realises that the security team are criminals from Ceres, and they have the missing riot gear. He lets Holden know, so Holden tells his crew to head back to the ship. Holden and Miller go down into the shelters to investigate.
  • Everyone in the shelters has been attacked by gas and radiation. Holden and Miller are affected too, but not so badly. They head back to the ship to escape.
  • People start fighting the “security” team once Holden and Miller let them know something is up.
  • Miller and Holden start to suffer from radiation sickness. The are treated, and will have to take meds from ow on.
  • Holden tells Naomi he loves her.
  • Fred sends Holden info on the stealth ships that attacked the Donnager. Holden does what he does best, and beams all this information out into the galaxy.
  • Earth attacks Mars in response, and Mars is forced to withdraw from the Asteroid Belt in order to defend the planet.
  • The crew follows the coordinates they found and they reach an asteroid. They find the ship that destroyed the Scopuli, which is also covered in gross biomass.
  • On the ship, they find a video from the Protogen Corporation. The video details a “protomolecule” called the Phoebe bug. Apparently this corporation found out that a moon near Saturn was an alien weapon from billions of years ago. The corporation were also doing human experiments. The crew leaves and blows up the ship.
  • The crew returns to Tycho. Miller realises that Eros is sending Protogen Corporation information, so he speaks to Havelock who works for security there. Havelock tells Miller there’s a base called Thoth, and where he can find it.
  • The crew heads to Thoth and attacks. The OPA takes over the station there, although it isn’t hard because no one seemed geared up for this.
  • Dresden, the head of research, is there and he doesn’t seem too bothered. He admits to the experiments on Eros, and says it was all a test. He and his team are trying to prep for a war against aliens.
  • Miller shoots Dresden, which no one is happy about.
  • Fred and Miller plot to destroy Eros. They blow up the ports while Holden’s crew stop the UNN from docking. Miller decides to stay on Eros when it blows up.
  • Eros starts heading towards Earth. Holden contacts Miller, who sorts it all out by contacting Julie, who’s actually flying this thing. She thinks she’s back racing.
  • Earth tries to nuke Eros but Fred redirects the nukes.
  • Miller manages to convince Julie to redirect the asteroid and crash it into Venus instead.
  • Later, it’s revealed that two crystal towers are growing on Venus’ surface. The protomolecule is still alive.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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