July 23, 2010

Review: Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
About: Is it 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. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksander 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 Birtish 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 both of them aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever. (from cover flap)

Review: I took a break from the depressing end of the world books to a WWI setting book. I was left a little disappointed with Scott Westerfeld when I read his Uglies Series books, they were boring and it was hard for me to imagine any settings in the story. But Leviathan is exhilarating to say the least. When I started the book I got a little confused by some of the things he described, it was a bit hard to imagine. But the book has amazing illustrations to go along with the story and it made the book 10 times better. It helped me imagine the story as well as really get to know and love the characters. It felt like each character was their own person, with unique personalities and not all fabricated by the same author. Deryn and Alek start out on two very separate journeys but they are both so much fun to read. Deryn a tomboy who wants to fly, she's brave and funny. Alek is cute, he's the heir to the thrown and you can tell has a royal air about him, with his perfect English, maturity and an elegant presence. I even liked Count Volgor, Alek's guardian, and Dr. Nora Barlow. The machines and fabricated animals Westerfeld invented are just amazing. The animals were created from DNA by Darwin, fabricated to special animals, lizards that can talk, bats that shoot metal spikes, whales full of hydrogen to fly. Also his Clanker machines are way cool, there are two footed 'Stormwalkers' and even a giant 8 legged 'Herkules' full with cannons, machine guns and lookout post. Sadly the book mad me angry. It leaves me, literally just hanging there. I finished the last chapter, turned the page expecting more as the story climaxed and...nothing, it just ends. So now I have to run out and get the second book. But damn it, it doesn't come out until October 5th! So now I just have to wait.

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