Thursday, May 13, 2010
Author: Westerfeld, Scott
Hardback: 434 pgs
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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.
I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this one. I'd read Uglies and didn't really care for it. It was interesting, but it was predictable, and I didn't care for the characters. When I heard about Leviathan, though, I thought I'd give Westerfeld another chance; after all, it is a completely different genre (even if it is still YA). I am so glad I did.
I absolutely loved this book. It's the first one I've read since Kristin Cahore's Graceling that I've gotten all giddy about.
Westerfeld builds an amazingly beautiful world on every page and still leaves a lot up to the imagination. The creatures and machines are magnificent, and just in case you couldn't quite picture what the heck and eight-legged walking gun machine could look like, it's also illustrated! Now, I'm usually not one for giving me pictures and ruining the image I had in my head while I was reading, but these pictures were great and enhanced the story for me. That said, I don't actually picture the characters the same way as they're shown, but I still really liked them.
The story is told from the perspectives of both main characters, one girl and one boy, and they were such opposites I could hardly believe it was the same writer. Each voice was well developed and completely different from the other and they stayed consistent the entire time. I fell in love with both of them, and I can't wait to see what happens to Alek and Deryn. The sequel, Behemoth, is due out in October if I'm not mistaken, and I'm going to have a hard time waiting for it.
Also, did I mention it's steampunk? Oh yea. This was my first steampunk, and it was just about the coolest thing ever. I hope all steampunk is this cool. I mean, Darwin helped bring about ginormous hybrid creatures that you can live INSIDE of! It's brilliant. And did you see that cover?! It gets me every time. I pet it. It feels nice. :)
If you've been wondering what to read next or you've been itching to read this one, do it. Now. And then come back and tell me what you thought of it, 'cause I'd like to know what everyone else thinks about this one.