Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Leviathan: By Scott Westerfeld



All the European powers are arming up for World War I. 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. Aleksandar Ferdinand is an Austro-Hungarian prince on the run. Deryn Sharp is a commoner. Their paths cross in the most unexpected way.


Leviathan is one of the best steampunk novels I’ve read.

Westerfeld, who has penned numerous other bestselling young adult novels including The Uglies and The Midnighters series, is back again with yet another sensational series.

Leviathan follows the actions and timeline of World War I, but with a few changes. First the Allies use bestial technology, creating large warships and other war technology by splicing together different animal DNA. And the Axis have developed mass war machines, far superior to even the machines we have today.

With astounding descriptions and nonstop action, Leviathan will amaze even the most jaded of young adult reader. Westerfeld paints a picture of early 20th century Europe and the struggles that accompany these countries. He is surprisingly accurate in his portrayal of the beginning of World War I, and really offers up an exciting history lesson that will engross teens worldwide. (For the facts he does embellish he clears up at the end up the book in an appendix.)

But what I found most astounding about this book were the war machines that Westerfeld dreamt up. They show vast imagination, and really offer an original spin on the story. Of course these war machines (both Bestial and Machine), also offer excellent action sequences that fans of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner and Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron will eat up.

All in all this was a fantastic book that really surprised me. It was surprisingly accurate, as well as filled with fascinating and imaginative elements to the story that truly make it enjoyable and original. Besides this Westerfeld’s characters are well developed and relatable, and his story engrossing. Making this captivating and sensational book a must read before school starts this fall.

9 out of 10


Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: August 10, 2010

Price: $9.99

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