Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

File:Leviathan westerfeld.jpg

Set amid the outbreak of WWI, the first in Westerfeld’s Leviathan series follows characters Alek (the son of assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand) and Deryn Sharp. Both Alek and Deryn seek adventure – Alek is thrust into his when his parents are murdered and he must go into hiding; Deryn is a girl masquerading as a boy in order to sail on British air beast, Leviathan. However, though their lives are radically different, the two eventually cross paths and must work together in order to survive.

This was the first Steampunk novel I’ve read, and I have to admit I was skeptical. The Steampunk genre just seems a little weird to me, so I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I was wrong! Leviathan is incredible — there’s a ton of action and suspense. If you don’t know much about WWI, don’t worry — you don’t need to be a history nerd to enjoy the novel. Westerfeld provides some background information at the end of the novel, and the characters do a good job of explaining what’s going on. Westerfeld’s imaginative machines and “beasties” are truly amazing — I was completely blown away by the detail he goes into when describing how they work. The illustrations Keith Thompson provides are also exceptional, and really help with understanding exactly how these crazy creatures look and function. All around, this is a great read! The 400+ pages fly by, and the end will leave you reaching for the next two in the series, which are Behemoth and Goliath. I’ll definitely be reading them!

This one has a great book trailer! Click here to watch.

Rating: 4.5/5

Series: Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS), click here.

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