Friday, November 4, 2011

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

About a year ago Scott Westerfield came to the Provo Library as part of our teen book festival. I wanted to read Leviathan before he came, but all the copies of his book were checked out with a holds list as long as your arm. I finally got a hold of Leviathan and I am so glad I did. What a fun and fascinating romp it is. This is another in the "Steam Punk" genre, set in an alternate WWI. The young prince of Austria, Alec, has to escape his home in the middle of the night when his parents are killed by assassins. With a small crew of loyal supporters, he flees in a large mechanical walker. The Germans and their allies has developed advanced mechanical war machines (think Star Wars, ice planet of Hoth). The British, on the other hand, have discovered the secrets of DNA and have created biological monstrosities as their weapons of choice, including a large, zeppelin-like, floating, whale called Leviathan. The battle lines are drawn between the "Beasties" on one side, the "Clankers" on the other. One of the "crewman" on the Leviathan is really a girl, going by the name of Dillan, who has disguised herself as a boy because she wanted to join the airship's crew. Of course, the young prince and Dillan meet up and become friends. I won't say anymore. You have to read it yourself. I have entirely enjoyed this one. It is so imaginative and the characters are interesting and fully realized. The only drawback is that the first book comes to an end without really ending. Luckily the second book, Behemoth, is already out so you can jump right into it after you finish the first. If I had a ranking system I would give this book a starred review. (440 p)

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