Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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Title: Leviathan
Author: Scott Westerfeld

Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 448
Source: Library
Series: Book #1 of the Leviathan series
Other Titles in the Series: Behemoth (book #2)

Summary ( On the eve of World War I, conflicts in Europe are coming to a bloody boil. On every side, governments are frantically arming themselves with new weaponry and sorting out likely friends and foes. On the whole continent, perhaps the oddest pairing of all is the makeshift alliance bred in danger between Aleksandar Ferdinand, fugitive prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Deryn Sharp, a daring British airwoman disguised as a boy. Both have secrets that they must conceal and now face dangers of literally global proportions. A steampunk series by the author of the Uglies and the Midnighters series.

My Review:
I’ve never really particularly liked World War I. For some reason I always forget what happened, why it started and who was involved. Leviathan changed all that. It creates its own version of WWI and yet it still sticks to the facts. I liked learning about Alek’s side of things with all the machines and what not but I was truly fascinated by Deryn’s aide of the war with the fabricated animals. I was a Bio Chemistry major in high school and even though I hated it some of it (unfortunately) stuck with me. In my HS I could have chosen one of three majors, Bio Chemistry, computers or engineering. I hate computers (I tend to break them a lot) so I obviously didn’t choose that and I could honestly care less about machines and building things so engineering was also out. Even though I sucked at science even back then I chose it because there was no where else for me to go (well I could have gone to a different high school but I really liked mine). I came to loath science by the way because of majoring in it. Okay, here’s the point of that long rambling tangent: I think it sort of explains why I like Deryn better than Alek. Alek was interesting I guess, but Deryn’s story made the book good. It's what kept me from giving up on it all together. Once the stories of the two main characters combined however I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down. I plan on reading Behemoth soon because Leviathan was in fact really good. I also really loved the illustrations in this book they were wonderful. I recommend this to steam punk fans as well as WWI fans or just history in general.