Friday, July 8, 2011

Review - Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.
I loved loved loved Leviathan, and was excited for the sequel even before I finished it. I just couldn't get enough of the awesome steampunk world Scott Westerfeld created. Behemoth was no different, and I can't wait to return to Deryn and Alek's world in Goliath.

The beginning of the book is full of action, and it almost never stops until the end. The action was all very well done and exciting to read, keeping me glued to the pages for hours, and more than once kept me reading late into the night. The story was very interesting, leaving me with some questions while reading, and some more after I finished it.

The characters were great (not to say I liked all of them, but they were very well written), just like in Leviathan. Deryn and Alek are some of my favorite characters of all time. Though, Alek got on my nerves a bit, I think it was around the middle or a little after that (I can't remember exactly when). A few new characters were introduced, and always had me wondering if they could be trusted.

I loved all the beasties and Clanker machines. While Leviathan, as its name would suggest, mostly took place on the Leviathan, Behemoth had a more Clanker setting, which was very interesting to read about. One of my favorite things about steampunk books is seeing all the different machines and what they're built for.
One of my favorite things about this series is that it's illustrated. Kieth Thompson's artwork is ah-mazing, the kind that makes me really wish I were more artistically talented. My only problem with the illustrations in this book is that they weren't as exciting as the ones in Leviathan. The illustrations in the first half just fell a little flat for me, because the things they depicted were just kind of... bleh. The last half of the book was a completely different story, so it's no surprise that that's where all my favorites are.

I must say, there was one part of the book that was good, but not as good as the rest of it. *slight spoiler* When Deryn and Alek were apart, the book slowed down a little and was just a bit less enjoyable. It was still good, and the stuff that happened was still interesting, it's just the book was so much better when they were together. Everything was just more interesting in those parts. *spoiler over*

If you haven't read the Leviathan series, I suggest you do. It's my absolute favorite series by Scott Westerfeld, and I like all his other YA books quite a bit, so that's saying something. Trust me, you won't regret it (unless you hate all things steampunk and awesome and brilliant).

I give Behemoth 5 octopodes.

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