In the fourth and final part of Leviathan Wakes, we’re talking war vs. peace, and the politics that come with them. Spoiler alert!
This week’s host is Sarah at The Illustrated Page. If you’re interested in joining this Read Along, we plan to continue with Caliban’s War (when we have a confirmed schedule). You can watch this space for more information!
Content note: For brief discussion of suicide.
So first off, what do you make of what Miller found inside Eros?
I WAS NOT READY FOR THIS. I honestly thought that a) Julie’s part, such as it was, was over; and b) that the alien … stuff (flora? Bacteria? Goop?) was somehow intentionally harmful. The whole zombie similarity there was not lost on me, which probably had a lot to do with that one. Let’s hear it for the horror element, you know? But it’s an excellent point that when this alien race sent this stuff toward Earth, it’s likelier that humans weren’t even a thing yet and so how could they even know about us? The idea that this was more likely a desperate bid for their own survival is a very intriguing one, and it’s left me wanting to know more about it!
Was Miller’s end a noble sacrifice or was it the act of a suicidal man? Is Holden right in wanting Miller to be presented as a person, not a symbol?
Oh boy. Miller’s last act is an interesting knot to unpick, and those are both really good questions. I think Miller’s last act was probably motivated by both of those goals. He clearly wanted to end his life at this point, but at the same time he was being presented with a chance to save Earth. Julie’s involvement probably had a lot to do with his decision as well, though I don’t mean to imply that he was being selfish by mentioning that. Finding out that she was still ‘alive’ meant he at least had a chance to finish his last job, however fatal (or fatalistic?) his actions might ultimately be. However you look at it, his ending was pretty heartbreaking.
As for Holden, this another case of his ideals showing. He isn’t wrong; whatever motivated him, Miller’s actions did save millions of lives, though it’s perhaps painting over the truth to say he did it FOR those millions of people, in a way. But Fred also makes a good point, in that whatever Miller’s reasons were, his act was a heroic one, and perhaps it’s better to present it that way than to let the considerably sadder truth be known. A hero can inspire people; the same can’t really be said for a failed cop with a drinking problem and suicidal tendencies. Fred might know the truth, but he has to handle the politics of this, and I think we all know how much room there is for truth in politics…
Do you believe war between Earth, Mars, and the Belt is inevitable? Will they achieve peace, even peace for now?
Peace for now is a possibility, thanks to Miller (and Fred). But will it last? I doubt it. Consider how far Antony Dresden was willing to go for a purely theoretical power-up. Lines have been crossed here that can’t just simply be put back in place and observed as they were before, and again, this is as much about politics as anything. If someone out there wants a war badly enough (and presumably ‘they’ do), then it’s probably going to take a lot more than one man’s actions to stop them. On top of that, even if peace is achieved on paper it’s likely to be far more difficult to achieve it in reality, across all of these territories. The potential for rogue factions is probably pretty high… And now I want rogue factions…
Do you have any predictions for the next book? Things you want to see more of or find out about?
I know vague things about a couple of new characters that we’ll meet in the next book, so I’m looking forward to more politics from a new perspective, and also to more space action! That pretty much covers the things I want more of. As for predictions … I have not a clue, and I’m rather enjoying that fact. Leviathan Wakes managed to genuinely surprise me at the end, and I have faith that it can happen again, so I’m looking forward to that as well.
Also, rogue factions!