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Leviathan Falls - spoilers tagged on first page only


Kalnestk Oblast
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Sins of the Fathers...  

That was a system that doesnt prosper right?  No pre existing infrastructure, no resupply, and no edible environment.  So they all die off.

Somewhere between 400 and 2000 people isn't a total dead end bottleneck probably, if you ve got a knowledge of genetics, resources, and artificial wombs but in a limited resource alien environment, it doesn't look good. 

I think there s mitochondrial dna evidence or something that our ancestors were down to 1000 or so at the lowest but that was in a native biosphere.

Hell Filip on his own might outlast Beta.

Spoiler

The spoiler is that I can't cut and paste on my phone apparently.

 

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Phew!!! I finally finished it. Most of you had your Epstein drives at full while I was using chemical rockets. :D It's my fault that I attempted to re-read the entire series, failed, tried again, failed again, jumped to book 6 when the final season of the show was on and slowly made my way from there.

I agree with everyone that this was a great and satisfying conclusion to the series. I started the book thinking I had spoiled myself because of a show related article that mentioned the books and there was a line there than implied everyone dies. So, I read this book with dread and was pleasantly surprised that most of the main characters survived the end and definitely not surprised at all that Holden went out like the self-made hero he is. If there is any true failure in the epilogue is that we are not told if there is a statue anywhere dedicated to ‘James fucking Holden’.

I had expected the book to end with the gate system destroyed and humanity left spread out, and the book, really the last 3 books, did make this moment feel earned. And I had assumed that another means of fast travel would be developed as a result, so I’m glad my predictions were correct, if not so much how it got there in the end.

I also agree with the main criticisms regarding the plot pacing and some of the POV characters. While Tanaka had a tiny, minor role in Persepolis Rising, to expand her role so much and give her so much importance was a… bold move. I think in the end it worked decently well, but I can’t help but wonder if Col. Ilich wouldn’t have been a better fit if they hadn’t killed him off in the previous book. I get what they did with Kit and some of the posts here offer good explanations so I’m ok with it except how it ended – is Kit’s son OK, did he have permanent damage due to the mind-meld stuff? I, too, wish we would have gotten a glimpse of Filip Inaros Nagata, but I wouldn’t have expected him to be a meaningful part of the story.

I personally found the dreamers chapters fascinating but was still glad of the Elvi translation following each chapter.

My biggest critique of the book, and this is something book 8 had, too, is the repetition of events through other POVs. When POV characters were in proximity, their chapters tended to begin with rehashing the events we read about in the preceding chapter, which is what affected the plot pacing the most for me. While it can be beneficial to see various important events from different perspective, this doesn’t lend itself well to the organization of these single POV chapters and I felt it was overused. The entire final act needed mixed POV chapters. We got two chapters like that, the Lighthouse & the Keeper, and the Naomi & Jim. Oh, and interesting they decided to change Holden to Jim for his chapter titles. I’m sure there is a thematic significance there, but I can’t quite think of it now.

My thoughts on a few points discussed in this thread:

  • I doubt Ilus was the Romans’ homeworld, but I don’t dismiss the possibility. We know the Romans evolved on a Europa-like world. Ilus isn’t that, considering that the atmospheric conditions are perfectly fine for humans. That being said, the Romans had terraformed the shit out of Ilus, and maybe they even changed its orbit around the star. I’m not sure the Ilus bullet was necessarily the last bullet but it’s also possible on account of the bullet being inside a structure and thus more than likely having directly touched one of the neurons in the Roman hivemind.
  • Speaking of bullets, we know of another that was found, the one that killed everyone in the San Esteban system, which was found near a moon. So, it’s weird that the effect in the system affected human physiology in such a way yet the bullet is an apparent random place in space. And that’s why I’m questioning the Ilus bullet being the last. I can’t quite recall now what the Laconians made of the bullet on the Tempest. They did do tests on it but didn’t really have any conclusions. Considering that Elvi passes through the Ilus bullet, and she doesn’t suffer from many effects, it’s possible every bullet is unique, having the properties of whatever ‘weapon’ the Goths unleashed upon normal space.
  • I think the Whirlwind can still, theoretically, use its pulse cannon, but they would be ill advised to try, assuming it was operational to begin with, since the ship was rushed into service and then they lost the shipyards. While the pulse cannon breaks through space like the ring space but on a much smaller scale, they need anti-matter which they no longer have. We see from the Tempest that they use up anti-matter pretty fast.
  • I liked that we got to see more of the Romans. It was interesting to see how they evolved. They may have had some developments, but their nature of exploiting and breaking through barriers never changed. They broke through the ice sheet that was their original sky, and later they broke through the very fabric of the universe. So not unlike humanity’s nature of continuously testing boundaries and learning to overcome them. But maybe the Romans had an easier time, perhaps too easy, which is why they were so weak in the face of the Goths in the end.
  • I would have liked it if the Goths turned out to have a humanoid form, though the snakes that appear may just be the weapons/tools they use to disperse the structures that invade their universe. I also think gamma rays affect the Goths as badly as every living thing in our universe, which is why the Romans had created the Tecoma ‘shotgun’ and why the station can take the hit as it redistributes the gamma bursts. I’m thinking the Romans developed the station overtime to be more efficient at pushing the bubble of space against the effects of the Goth universe.
  • I disagree with a post saying this book failed to show the passage of time. It showed it well enough. Teresa spends more than a year on the Rocinante, we see Elvi slowly killing herself as she ignores her body’s needs to stay healthy, and there is plenty of mention of how many days it takes to get from A to B. It’s just at the end, with all the craziness that it appears things are moving too fast.

Some of the character related stuff in this book makes me once again critique the decision of not re-casting Alex for the show. Of course, if the final 3 books never get adapted this is irrelevant. I loved how Alex’s story ended in the books. And the show had even given Alex a son with his first wife. But now, if they ever adapt, I don’t know if it would matter to bring in Alex’s son. I suppose they could do it with Naomi and Filip.

Amos’s fate was highly bittersweet but also appropriate. The man who didn’t fear death living forever. I think the eventual death of Naomi, Teresa, and others wouldn’t have affected him too terribly. The ‘therapy’ session he got with Bobbie over Clarissa’s eventual death seemed to be a one-for-all treatment for him. He accepted Jim’s death quite well.

I’m fine with the epilogue being short and vague. Sure, I want more, but I feel that the authors may allow us to make our own headcannon about how humanity fared across the plethora of colonies. Amos mentioned there were troubles in Sol that took a while to fix but things were rather good a thousand years later. What were these troubles, did the peoples of Sol go back to the old Earther-Martian-Belter tribal lines or did new lines form? I’m guessing systems like Auberon and Bara Gaon were ok considering how well they could adapt Earth biologicals to the local biomes. Others, not so much. I wonder about Laconia. Did the fascist government collapse in a bloody war? Did they even survive since Laconia’s biome was less welcoming to Earth chemicals and biologicals? I shudder to think that everyone on Laconia is undead as result of the repair drones, and they are slowly making their way through space to enact revenge on the rest of humanity. I’m not sure who the people that developed FTL were, I don’t believe that system was mentioned before. How much power and what kind does it take for that means of travel?

The whole thing with Duarte and Jim reminded me, in a vague sort of way, of that miniseries with Jimmy Smits based on a Stephen King book. :P I looked it up, it’s called Tommyknockers

Now on to read the final novella, Sins of our Fathers. See you next month.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have books 1-8 in trade paperback and am putting off buying Leviathan Falls until the trade paperback appears. So far, all I see on Bezos is some shadowy copies from secondary sellers. Anyone know anything about a release date? My search has not been fruitful. 

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17 hours ago, Jerol said:

I have books 1-8 in trade paperback and am putting off buying Leviathan Falls until the trade paperback appears. So far, all I see on Bezos is some shadowy copies from secondary sellers. Anyone know anything about a release date? My search has not been fruitful. 

All I've seen is purported used copies, which I'm assuming are ARCs or something?  

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19 hours ago, Jerol said:

I have books 1-8 in trade paperback and am putting off buying Leviathan Falls until the trade paperback appears. So far, all I see on Bezos is some shadowy copies from secondary sellers. Anyone know anything about a release date? My search has not been fruitful. 

I have 1-3 in trade paperback from when they weren't getting initial hardback releases.  4-9 and Memory's Legion are all in hardback.  Its always bugged me.  :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just started Memory's Legion.  Have not read any of these short stories before. Just noticed that the inside cover blurb says there's a novella set after the events of Leviathan Falls... its really hard for me not to skip all these other stories!  :lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Really enjoyed all the short stories.  So many of the characters I had sort of forgotten and then gradually recalled through the stories.  Seeing Amos' childhood friend show up again in the Auberon based story was a neat kick when I realized who he was.  In the post script author's note to Sins of the Fathers where they mention Nami Volovodov and her mothers... I don't remember her at all.  :dunno:

Really glad I got to read those stories.  A couple of them I really wish I had read where they fall in the chornology, but for the most part they just made a nice after dinner treat.

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4 hours ago, Rhom said:

In the post script author's note to Sins of the Fathers where they mention Nami Volovodov and her mothers... I don't remember her at all.  :dunno:

Anna Volovodov had a pretty big role in Abaddon's Gate, being among the religious leaders who was allowed to pass the Ring gate on the Nauwoo (under whatever name it had at the time) and being competent enough to calm the situation when the fertilizer hit the air circulation device. Nami was her child who was back on Earth during these events. Later books had Anna as a POV character of the devastation of Earth after the asteroids fell, if I recall correctly. Nami didn't have a very big role at that point either.

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Anna was one of those characters where I thought the show was really expanding on a book character, and then on a reread realized that I just hadn't remembered enough. 

The next biggest to me at least being Avasarala's spy/security guy that goes with her and Bobby onto JPM's yacht.  (And also holy shit, is Jules Pierre Mao a JP Morgan allusion?)  Though in his case, I do think the bit in the show about him having served with Chrissy's son wasn't in the book.  But I didn't remember him from my first read at all and thought the show made him up whole cloth.

I did manage to make the connection while reading Sins of the Father that Nami was Anna's daughter once she said something along the lines of "my mother was a saint" because red haired V something long last named peacemaker already had reminded me of Anna.

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16 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

Wait, Anna's daughter is in Sins of our Fathers? I completely missed that. Is her last name mentioned?

 

10 hours ago, Kalibuster said:

Only vaguely - everyone gets it wrong - but she's referred to as st Anna. 

In the post script from Dan and Ty, they mention the name directly.  But in story, no one actually says her name.

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Re reading Strange Dogs and I have so many questions.. How did cara died and how long after the events surrounding Xan's death..were the dogs existing before the orbitals came online, doubt it else someone would have come across them prior to Cara, what are the dog's purpose...  

I have read all these stories before, but reading them back to back only highlights the quality.. hard to pick a favorite , Auberon and Butcher weakest to me..the others really excellent...

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36 minutes ago, shortstark said:

Re reading Strange Dogs and I have so many questions.. How did cara died and how long after the events surrounding Xan's death..were the dogs existing before the orbitals came online, doubt it else someone would have come across them prior to Cara, what are the dog's purpose...  

I have read all these stories before, but reading them back to back only highlights the quality.. hard to pick a favorite , Auberon and Butcher weakest to me..the others really excellent...

Cara died because she chose to live in the wild with her brother and because of hunger she ate some of the local flora. But as we've seen the chemistries are not compatible. I think this is mentioned briefly in book 7 or 8.

The orbitals came online before Xan's death. The dogs likely were in a sort of stasis form like much of the protomolecule tech was on all the planets.

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On 5/5/2022 at 2:40 PM, shortstark said:

I have read all these stories before, but reading them back to back only highlights the quality.. hard to pick a favorite , Auberon and Butcher weakest to me..the others really excellent...

Butcher to me was great for the insight into both Fred and Dawes.  Auberon had the connections to the Churn and book 7 or 8 with Overstreet.  And thought they both connected well with the main series.

The shorts about Epstein and Gods of Risk seemed like weakest to me.  Drive could have been a prologue to the whole series, but was largely redundant as far as I could tell, and Gods of Risk wasn't really moving the story the forward, just filling in some gaps.  Pretty much read the series as it was released, but didn't even know about the short fiction until about book 5 or so. 

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