Saturday, July 3, 2010

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

I'm finally back, and I'm planning on writing reviews of some of the books I've read recently. At last, I've had more time to read, and I've discovered some fun books.


Leviathan is one of those books I enjoyed reading. It's directed toward young adults, and I'd describe the genre as a mix of steampunk and alternate history. The book starts with the beginning of World War I and some of the circumstances that started it, but nothing else is really the same. In this world, the two sides are divided into people who use giant machines that walk on mechanical legs and people who create ships, draft animals, and other creatures by mixing a whole bunch of animals' genes together. It's a very imaginative world that Westerfeld has created, and inside the book are many beautiful full-page drawings that bring the scenes to life.

Here's a little description I found on Scott Westerfeld's website:

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, 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 World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Weaknesses:
-There are parts of this book that promote Darwinism, and that got annoying. I just ignored it, but I don't like knowing that an author has an agenda in their book.

Strengths:
-Westerfeld does a good job of pulling his reader into the world of the story. You feel like you're there, and it sticks with you when you're done reading.
-The characters were engaging, particularly Alek. I liked his smart, compassionate POV.
-There's plenty of action, which is what I like.
-The cover's cool, and the detailed illustrations were a bonus for me. Here are two examples so you can see why I liked them so much:





















I recommend this book to anyone who likes steampunk, fantastical imaginings, and adventure. I think you'll have fun with this book.

-Becca Johnson

1 comment:

Susan said...

Sounds like a fun book to read and I do like the illustrations.