Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

              Leviathan is a steampunk alternate history set around the time of the World War I outbreak.
Cover Blurb:
It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and the 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, 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 British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is is constant danger of being discovered.
       With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way . . . taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

       What a satisfying book! This is the first steampunk book I've read, and I can safely say it definitely won't be the last!
        The characters had me hooked from the beginning! Alek was charming and brave. Though I could sense the uppitiness he held from his upbringing, he was in no way snooty and was really someone I could respect (an absolute must for me). Deryn was sharp and engaging-- a daredevil female that really spiced her side of the story up. The background characters were unique, and held depth in their own right. Very well done on characters!
Characters: 5 Stars
         The plot held just the right balance between action-packed and reflective. I felt their was time to get to know the characters and situations without falling into boredom. It was easy to follow and completely believable! (An amazing feat when considering the fabricated animals used by the Darwinists) In addition, the ending held enough answers to tie up the book, but left enough questions to have me running for the sequel.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
         I love the way Scott Westerfeld added style to this book! Leviathan switches between Alek and Deryn's stories, yet I could sense freshness on Deryn's side and determination on Alek's. It added a great deal of variety, and gave the book enough momentum to carry through to the end.
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 4.8 Stars
Source: Library
Genre: Steampunk/Adventure/Hint of Fantasy?
YA Fiction

Subnote: Keith Thompson filled the visual version of the book with gorgeous illustrations! :)

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