Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Book Review: Leviathan- Scott Westerfeld

About: Leviathan, written by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Keith Thompson, is a young adult stempunk novel published in 2009 in the USA. In the UK it was published in 2010 by Simon & Schuster. Its sequel, Behemoth, is already out, and the final book in the series will be out in October. Scott Westerfeld has also written the Uglies series, the Midnighters, a few more series and a short story in Zombies vs Unicorns. Look at his website .

Plot:Its 1914 in an alternative history with elements of possible futures. The Clankers, who's warships are pure machinary, are on the brink of war against the Darwinists, who evolve animals into various crossbreeds to use as ships. Beginning with the assasinations of the Archduke of Austria and his wife, the two people who started World War I, their child Aleksander is forced to run and hide. Meanwhile, Deryn Sharp has been accepted as a midshipman on the Leviathan, but will get chucked off if they discover she is female. Then Deryn crash lands near Alek's hiding place and they are thrown together for many adventures together.

Opinions: I was first drawn in by the beautiful cover of the second book, Behemoth. When the librarian found the first book, and read the blurb, I knew that I had high hopes. And I wasnt disappointed. Despite not liking his Uglies series, Leviathan is something completely different. I think it captures steampunk, perfectly.The books was full of action interspersed with humour. I think every sentence was useful, there was no pointless drivel anywhere. I liked the strong personalities of all the characters, from Alek and Devyn to the annoying midshipman that gets left behind in the early stages of the book. I especially like how Westerfeld could have put in some romance between Alek and Devyn, but didnt,choosing instead to keep the book pure adventure. To complete the book, the illustrations are beautiful, and obviously Thompson worked hard on them. Leviathan is a brilliant book and I cant believe I never found it sooner.
In short
PlotMachinery, animals, cross dressing, hiding, lady boffins and war thrown togerher in a steampunk world
CharactersWell fleshed out and believable
ActionSo much happens that its hard to believe the second part all happened in the space of about four days
Warningsnone I can think of
WritingFast paced and thrilling
OverallSo good, I stayed up till midnight to finish it-and you will too.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, I read Westerfield's Parasite Positive and really enjoyed it; would be nice to read something involving lady boffins instead of vampires for a change. (Hang on, what about vampire boffins? Could that catch on?)


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