Monday, November 9, 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

"It is 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. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.
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 in 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."

Even though I've read almost all of Scott Westerfeld's YA books, I didn't know what to expect from this one. It was really different from his other books. It was awesome, one of my favorite books.
I can't decide who I liked more, Deryn or Alek. They were both great characters. Deryn was funny and cool, I found it amusing that she was the best midshipmen on the Leviathan when she wasn't supposed to be there since she was a girl. I wish there had been a few more instances where her secret was almost discovered. I feel like that part was downplayed a lot. It was a little confusing how in the chapters about Deryn it would be all "she" or her", but in the chapters about Alek with Deryn present (or Dylan, as he thought she was called) it was all "he" and "him", when it was the same person.
Alek wasn't really funny, which my favorite characters usually are, but he was still likable.
I'm really torn between which side I liked more. The Darwinists and the Clankers creations were both interesting. Early on, I thought I liked the Darwinists more, but then they got into a battle and the beasties started getting hurt and suddenly I didn't like them as much. The Clanker contraptions were equally interesting, and the parts where Alek tried something new with the Stormwalker, like running (when he almost tripped), were kinda funny. I guess you can't really choose which one's cooler, they both had their merits, and they both had flaws.
Now, I can't review Leviathan without talking about the illustrations. Keith Thompson did an amazing job with the artwork! The characters, Clanker machines, and Darwinist beasties all looked so great. One of my favorites, which I really wish had been in color, was "An Heirloom Saves the Heir". I won't tell you what it looks like, because A) it just wouldn't be the same as seeing it, and B) it might ruin the story.I also really liked the colored version of "Negotiations and Collateral" which was used for the UK cover and can be viewed on Keith's site.
Anyway, this book was amazing! I highly recommend it, especially if you've read Scott's other books. This one definitely ranks as one of my favorites, above Midnighters, So Yesterday, and Uglies. Seriously, read it.

I four Leviathan four Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,

Note: If you would like to read this book, there's still time to enter my Leviathan giveaway.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Oh yay I am so happy to hear you loved it! tThis is definitely one of my favourite books of the year, if not the favourite. It was such a fun read and I might just buy it for all my book friends who don't have a copy this Christmas.