Because who can afford books in this economy?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Summary (from
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.
Leviathan is one of the most original books that I've read lately. Or ever, actually. I'm so used to reading books that speculate about the future that it was refreshing to read a book that speculated about the past, and added some things to make it a little bit more interesting. This was my first venture into the land of steampunk and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Most of the other elements of the story were normal, but the steampunk edge made it so much more awesome.
In the beginning we are introduced to Alek, whose parents were just assassinated. His father was the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination, as we all know, helped trigger WWI. Then we meet Deryn, who wants to be an airman, but can't because she's a girl and girl's are not allowed, so she disguises herself as a boy. To complicate the matters Austria, where Alek is from, is a Clanker nation that relies on machines while England, where Deryn is from, is a Darwinist nation that relies on scientifically created animals. We follow them separately until their paths collide about half-way through.
I thought that Leviathan was very enjoyable, though not quite worth five stars. The storyline was great and I enjoyed reading from both of the main characters' point of view. I really enjoyed the pictures scattered throughout the book, they really helped me imagine the machines and animals. One thing that brought the book down for me were the long descriptions of the machines. When I read, I don't need to know every single detail of something the first time I read about it, because most likely I'll forget everything that I just read by the next page anyway. The action was also hard for me to picture, and I'm not really sure why that was. Even so, I really enjoyed the book as a whole, and I can't wait for the next one to come out!

Overall: It was a really good read, I just had trouble picturing some things: 4 Stars!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great review! I agree, especially about the awesomeness of steampunk. :) And about the 15-year-old one liners thing...let me know if it gets any better for you when you turn 17!

    Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
    (Read my review of Leviathan at


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