Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Scott Westerfeld, Illustrated by Dr Keith Thompson


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  • Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: Paperback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 206mm x 32mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 10 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1416971742
  • ISBN 13: 9781416971740
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 42,767

Product description

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.

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Customer reviews

By TheBookWorm123 04 Jul 2014 5

Leviathan is a captivating and intriguing alternate history WW1 steampunk book. From the first few pages, I was hooked. It drew me in like a moth to a flame. I finished it in a couple of days. I am now already on the second book in the trilogy: Behemoth (which, so far, is also very good). I absolutely LOVED this book. I would recommend it to anyone. I give Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 5 out of 5 stars.

By TeensReadToo 22 Sep 2010 4

LEVIATHAN is a novel of alternate history. More specifically, it can be classified as steampunk, which depending on what definition you read, is an extension of science fiction and fantasy. Westerfeld decides to reinvent the era of World War I in his latest novel. While he maintains some of the actual events of the war, he creates and alters many.

The story follows the lives of Deryn and Alek. Deryn is a young woman desperate to join the Air Men of the Darwinists Army (British Empire/France). With the help of her brother, she disguises herself as a boy and joins the fight. She has excellent Air Sense, which is a must for the Darwinists, since their main type of weaponry are flying airships made of living animals, with each animal in the ecosystem playing its part. The Leviathan is an airship made up of a countless number of animals - from the smallest microscopic animal to a giant whale that contains everything.

Alek's parents, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, have been assassinated, leaving Alek on the run for his life. The Austro-Hungarian Empire/Germany wants him dead in order to ensure the end of the bloodline to the throne. Alek's people are referred to as the Clankers because of the loud noises that come from their form of weaponry - swords, cannons, aeroplanes, and, most exciting, walkers. Picture a huge tank with legs instead of treads.

Both Deryn and Alek are dedicated to their causes, and when they are thrust into the same fight and forced to work together, both must take a look at the world around them and see things from the other's perspective.

The ending really leaves the reader hanging, and not necessarily in a good way. I felt like it cut off right when we needed some important information, but I guess Westerfeld is leaving that for the sequel.

The book contains several beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Keith Thompson. I really enjoyed coming across those throughout the story.

Even though LEVIATHAN took me a while to get through, I still enjoyed it and look forward to the sequel.