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Monday, December 19, 2011

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Artist: Keith Thompson
Series: Leviathan
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
How Received: Borrowed
Rate: 5
Summary: (as quoted from Amazon) It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. 
Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their 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.

My thoughts:
Leviathan is one of the best books I’ve read this year. We are taken on a journey that exceeds the imagination and yet is grounded in historical fact. The story is told through the eyes of two main characters : Deryn Sharp, a young woman who is on a journey to becoming a part of the Air Force, and Aleksandar Ferdinand, son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Princess Sophie, who, after his parents are assassinated, is on the run from those who wish to kill him. While Aleksandar’s task of staying alive seems far more perilous than Deryn’s dream of joining the Air Force, it actually isn’t. Because Deryn is a girl, and in 1914, girls aren’t allowed into the Air Force. So when she poses as a boy and gets accepted onto the crew of the Leviathan, she is living her dream - but she is also in constant danger of her secret being discovered. And when Aleksandar and Deryn’s paths cross, their lives become even more complicated. I loved how the “Clankers” (Aleksandar’s people) use metal machines for travel and combat and how the “Darwinists” (Deryn’s people) use fabricated animals as their airships and fighting supply. The differences between the two made for some really interesting, funny scenes, not to mention some insane battle sequences. Westerfeld’s writing is truly exceptional, and Thompson’s artwork really complemented the story. An amazing blend of reality and fantasy, Leviathan is an astoundingly magical read ; I highly recommend picking it up today.

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