fiction · science fiction · steampunk · young adult

“Leviathan” by Scott Westerfeld

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Pages [hardcover]: 464
Available in stores now
Opening Lines: The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised. Behind them two ranks of diesal-powered walking machines stood ready to fire, cannon aimed over the heads of the calvary. A zeppelin scouted no-man’s land at the center of the battlefield, its metal skin sparkling.
Memorable Quote: Maybe this was how you stayed sane in wartime: a handful of noble deeds amid the chaos.
Favorite Character: Daryn/Dylan
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
[Summary taken from Goodreads]

I borrowed this book from my friend, after hearing her rave about how good it was. I trusted her judgement, and she was right! “Leviathan” takes World War I and ramps it up. The British and their allies are Darwinists-they have learned how to manipulate genes and create animals that can mimic zeppelins or carry messages in the same voice they were given, among other things. Germany and their allies are Clankers. They prefer big, weapon-clad machinary that walk around on metal legs. The Clankers are afraid of the fabricated Darwin animals.
Every two chapters, the point of view switched between Deryn and Alek. I personally couldn’t decide who I liked more. I’ve always liked hearing stories where girls prove they are just as good as boys are, yet Alek, though naive and conceited, was an interesting character that matured as the plot thickened. Yet, at a single point, different for each of them, they annoyed me greatly. If they hadn’t, the plot wouldn’t have been as great, but it was just a pet peeve of mine.
I think I’d like to be a Darwinist. The huge, fantastic creatures they come up with sound more interesting than cold, lifeless machines.
But that’s just me.
Scott Westerfeld is, well, awesome. I love this author. I’ve read quite a few books by him. If you’re looking for a good science fiction read, pick up one of his novels.
“Leviathan” was an original and well thought out novel. There is going to be a sequel, called “Behemoth”, set to come out October 2010. Same month as the new Percy jackson.
This novel gets 5/5 stars.
So…Anyone have any idea on how to pronounce Leviathan? 😀


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