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  1. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    From the Back Cover:
    It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

    Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

    Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl 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 the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way - taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

    My Thoughts:
    Leviathan is Scott Westerfeld at his absolute best. He has imagined an alternate version of the world as it was at the start of World War I. There is a rift between the Darwinists, who live their lives by the scientific breakthroughs of Charles Darwin who has discovered DNA and how to manipulate it, and the Clankers who prefer to build great and powerful machines. In reality, Darwin, of course, did not discover DNA and all of its secrets. DNA was discovered in the 1950s and we are still learning much about it today. Likewise, the Clanker inventions are far ahead of their time. We are only now developing vehicles that walk and tracked, armoured tanks did not enter battle until 1916. Westerfeld fits in his historical alterations with ease and has found a perfect Steampunk (and Biopunk - I learned a new word!) blend of past events and futuristic technologies.

    The protagonists are likeable and balance well with each other albeit coming off young but learning a lot and maturing as they go. I did get a little of tired of Deryn/Dylan's frequent curses of "barking spiders" and "blisters" but understood that it was part her charade of trying to convince everyone that she was a male combined with her already tomboyish tendencies.

    Readers will be blown away by Westerfeld's amazing descriptions of Darwinist airbeasts and Clanker machines accompanied by stunning illustrations by Keith Thompson. Leviathan is an engaging read full of both history and imagination. I cannot wait for the release of the next book in series, Behemoth, later this year.

    Also Check Out:
    Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
    Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
    The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

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  2. 5 comments:

    1. I loved the illustrations in this book! It took me a while to make sense of everything, but in the end I really liked it and can't wait for Behemoth.

    2. I was blown away by this book. Here's my review:

    3. mummazappa said...

      i just finished reading the uglies series and now i'm a big fan, but i've heard there is a big cliffhanger at the end of this book which always drives me nuts, so i might wait to read it until the next one (and maybe the next one after that!) comes out.

    4. I really need to get to this author. You have done a few reviews of books of his, and he sounds amazing. Thanks for the review! :)

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