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Leviathan (Leviathan #1)

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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  72,103 Ratings  ·  6,354 Reviews
The year is 1914 and Europe, armed with futuristic machines and biotechnology, is on the precipice of war. Prince Aleksandar is fleeing for his life. When he meets Deryn Sharpe, an orphan girl who has disguised herself as a boy so she can join the British Air Service, they form an uneasy alliance.
Paperback, 434 pages
Published May 27th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Children's (first published October 6th 2009)
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Toby Literrally all the books in this series are the bomb. One of the best series out there. Read them all.
Flora Skye This book was recommended to me by my older sister and I in turn, Recommend it to ANY one! This book is funny , thrilling and had me hanging onto…moreThis book was recommended to me by my older sister and I in turn, Recommend it to ANY one! This book is funny , thrilling and had me hanging onto every word. Scott Westerfeild has woven a intricate world that can last for ever. the illustrations by Keith Thompson were FABULOUS! I really don't have any thing negative to say about this book!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tatiana
Oct 16, 2009 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: existing Westerfeld fans, pre-teen boys
Like many of my friends, I've been looking forward to getting my hands on "Leviathan" for a while. It is so sad that after such a long wait I can't give this book more than 2 stars. And if I am being honest, I added second star for fabulous cover art and excellent illustrations (1 or 2 per chapter!). My low rating doesn't mean however that I would recommend NOT to read this book. I simply didn't care for it personally, for several reasons.

First, this book seems to be mistakenly classified as you
...more
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Westerfeld’s Uglies, so I was excited to read this new book, set in an alternate reality. It’s the dawn of World War I, and war is about to erupt between two great powers – the Clankers (Germany & Austro-Hungary) and the Darwinists (England, France, Russia). The Clankers are technologists with walking tanks (a la Star Wars), zeppelins and airplanes, while the Darwinists have discovered ways to manipulate DNA and create biological hybrids like floating whale ships, lizards th ...more
mark monday
this is a zippy, high-spirited breeze of a novel, aimed at the lucrative TROPE(1) audience - and with clear appeal for even younger folks. as far as characterization and narrative go, there is not much here that will suprise or challenge the reader...but the novel does have charm, lots of it. don't expect to get your mind blown, but it is certainly a pleasant way to spend a few hours. and there are many enjoyable elements in the now-almost-played-out use of TROPE(2): big clanky walking-machines, ...more
Carol.
May 15, 2012 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of young adult, biotech and Austria
Alternate title: An Adventure in Which an Aristocratic Young Man Discovers How to Pilot an All-Terrain Walker and that he is Now an Orphan, and a Young Woman Disguises Herself as a Young Man and Joins the Navy to Pilot Flying Octopi and Whales.

I rarely read Young Adult, so it is a mark of Westerfeld’s credit that I didn’t abandon ship immediately. I picked it up as a monthly read, mistakenly assuming the group disqualified the genre from nominations. I know what you are thinking–why didn’t I qui
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Dan Schwent
The Archduke of Austria-Hungary and his wife are assassinated and their son, Alek, flees into the night with trusted advisors. Deryn Sharp disguises herself as a boy to gain a post on a Darwinist airship. With a Great War brewing, how will their paths intersect?

I had Leviathan on my kindle for so long I'd largely forgotten when I purchased it. Sometimes, you just want to read about giant steam-powered robots in the dawn of World War I.

Leviathan is a steampunk adventure tale set in the opening mo
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Jeffrey Keeten
May 26, 2012 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." Charles Darwin

The world of Leviathan set in 1914 is divided into Darwinists and Clankers. The Darwinists have evolved genetics to make animals more useful to humans. The Clankers have built their society on machinery technology. I love maps and Scott Westerfeld provided a great map to show how his imagined world has been divided up between the two ca
...more
Jo
"A missing piece can be very bad for the puzzle, whether in the natural world, or politics, or here in the belly of an airship."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
That’s what I want to know, Alek. That’s what I want to know.

High Points.
Deryn. Alek. This world… wooow, why doesn’t it exist yet?! Huxleys. Darwinists. Clankers. Flying wales. Cow farts. Trinkets&Diddies. Messenger lizards. Science. Nature. Snowshoes. Tazza. Dr Barlow. Frostbitten bums. Odd kind of tingling. The prospect of sequels…

L
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Lyndz
Nov 01, 2011 Lyndz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices, I got a taste for steampunk that I have not been able to satiate until now.



Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Leviathan is targeted for early YA, in the same vein as Percy Jackson and the early Harry Potters. My advice to you is if you are thinking about reading any of the Rick Riordan/Percy Jackson books; put that thought out of your mind right now, and pick up Leviathan instead. Trust me on this one, you will thank me for i
...more
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
For any YA-fans looking for a new fun and imaginative adventure to fill the Harry-Potter-sized void in your lives, I give you Leviathan!

Beware the Clanker Revolution!

It's the year 1914, and Austrian prince Alek has just learned that his parents have been murdered. Instead of being allowed time to grieve, he is forced to flee his country with only a handful of men loyal to him. As his birthright represents a direct threat to the Clanker army's quest for power, the fifteen-year-old Alek has been t
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TK421
Mar 23, 2011 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Whew…where do I begin? First off, let me tell you this is my first steampunk experience, which will definitely not be my last. At work, I’ve had a few of my co-workers recommend this book to me, along with about fifteen other steampunk titles. I ignored them. Steampunk just wasn’t my bag. It seemed too…too…what’s the word?...ridiculous. Months passed. But every time I needed a new book to read and review for my job, I always found myself looking at LEVIATHAN. The cover art is pretty cool; but ju ...more
Richard Derus
Oct 14, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Really, just...wow. I love alternate histories, and I dote on steampunk, and I am learning just how fertile the YA vineyards are in both these realms. This book is a wonderful tale of an alternate WWI, fought between the Darwinist powers and the Clankers. That is, those whose fighting technology is genetically manipulated animal based, and those whose fighting technology is...well, technology.

Darwin's theories of evolution became available to manipulate and modify animals at a much earlier
...more
Valerie
Feb 15, 2010 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The style came easily to me even if it is my first historical sci-fi book. I usually avoid sci-fi for the reason that they usually have long series. I read somewhere that there is a sequel to Leviathan but I forgot. I probably would've read the book anyway though because Deryn is a girl disguised as a boy and that in and of itself would hook me to almost any book.

Absolutely loved the whole Darwinist v. Clanker bit. The fact that Westerfeld really made it fit so easily without making everything
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Michael
This combination fantasy and alternative history of World War 1 was fun and imaginative in many ways, but it came up short for me in its limited depth of characters and plotting and in my troubles suspending disbelief. Only some of such weakness seems attributable to this being children’s literature.

The overall premise is that the Allied powers use genetically engineered animals in their military technology while the Central powers use machines—the "Darwinists" versus the "Clankers". The former
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Erin
What a pleasant surprise this book was! I strongly dislike the Uglies series and had a sense that Leviathan would be a "boy book" (whatever that means), but it turns out it was highly enjoyable.

Plot
Basically, a heavily altered retelling of the initiation of World War I. It follows two protagonists: Alek, the orphaned son of the murdered Austrian archduke, and Deryn, a girl disguising herself as a boy in order to fly on a Darwinist airbeast. She will be flying against the Clankers, the sections o
...more
Ivan
I love the setting but characters and story are bit too naively written. Since this is YA book aimed at lower age parts of YA spectrum but I feel that what this book does, it does worse than Mortal Engines which has significantly better characters and character interactions. Overall fun read but too much unused potential for such awesome setting.
Connor
I did in the end enjoy this novel, but I had a few reservations. I loved the illustrations. I wish they were all pushed a page later so they wouldn't spoil what was currently happening every time I turned the page, but that was alright. I think at times, I found it easy to put down, but once I committed, I was totally in. The characters were pretty realistic with their characterizations and were kept super consistent. I loved the afterward where he explained his ideas for this alternate history/ ...more
Megan Baxter
This is a very solid young adult book, with not too much romance shoehorned in. (That is to say, there is some romance, and it feels very shoehorny, but is on the brief side. This book in particular feels like it could have skipped the burgeoning of the feelings without in anyway detracting from the book.) I am waffling on the three or four stars right now - because I liked it enough to be interested in further books in the series without in any way falling in love with it.

Note: The rest of this
...more
Johanna
Me at page 200:


Me at page 201:


Me at 12AM:
Ashley
I don't know what happened here. How a book about an alternate history steampunk WWI where one side has clankers, and the other genetically engineered flying beasts that double as airships could be so exceptionally uninteresting and generic, I really don't know. Also one of the MC's is the son of the murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand. And the other is a girl who dresses as a boy! Also, also it was narrated by Alan Cumming! And yet, my mind wandered constantly while listening, and I had to force ...more
Bry
My first impression of this book is that it is beautifully done. The map on the inside covers are amazing with the details and colors. Plus the illustrations throughout the book are fantastic. Full page sketches of a scene that are highly detailed and stunning. The text itself though is not written for teens but for young pre-teens, and the characters are said to be 15-16 but appear 12 or so in the illustrations. It just all sounds and feels so juvenile. They also think, sound, and act juvenile. ...more
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I really enjoyed this and I'm glad it was the first steam punk book I got to read! I loved all the different vehicles and airships throughout the book. I just had a few problems with one of the main characters, as she was super annoying, and I also thought the ending was a BUZZKILL. Other than that the story was great and I'm excited to continue on with this trilogy.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Just look at this cover, isn't it GORGEOUS?! I absolutely love it. It's so rich, with such sumptuous detail, wonderful design and use of colour and all the elements of the story and its genres. It's simply RIPPING!! It feels nice too, with embossed bits, shiny bits, matte bits, texture in places so that if you run your fingers over it they get all excited and tingly! The one and only thing that bothers me is the cardstock used - the cover never lies flat but is constantly (even brand new and sit ...more
Daniel
Jun 01, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Izuzetno interesantan svet, prvi svetski rat sa steampunk robotima i velikim geneticki modifikovanim zivuljkama koji se biju medju sobom. Alternativna istorija koja je dovoljno slicna pravoj a opet dovoljno promenjena da bude interesantna. Prica koja se fino razvija i daje mogucnost da se istrazi ovaj svet a opet nije optereceno info dumpovima. Likovi koji su ultra dosadni i manje vise cisti klisei sto se ponasanja tice iako imaju jako interesantne okolnosti iz kojih poticu i pricu kojja ih gura ...more
Stephen
3.5 stars. Great concept for a book with a decent execution. The book is clearly the first in a series and not enough happens to make this a great book. That said, I love both the concept and the descriptions of the "Darwinist" fabricatred animals and the "Clanker" machines. I also love the setting of an alternative history "steampunk" World War I background. Will definitely read the next installment.

Denisse
Feb 22, 2013 Denisse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very tempted to give this 5 stars, but even when the book was completly amazing and smart, I know Scott will do it better in the next one.
My very first Speampunk :O I have to read this genre more. Interesting, smart, a great plot and characters. Go, read it.

Tal vez esa era la manera de seguir cuerdo en tiempos de guerra: un puñado de gestos nobles en medio del caos.

Hasta este momento, todas las novelas de Scott que me he leído me han gustado bastante. Sin duda uno de los grandes de la
...more
Clouds

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS Y-A list.

I think I’ll always have a soft-spot for imaginative young-adult speculative fiction and as the good people at Locus did such a grand job with picking their Sci-Fi winners, I’ll trust them to single out some special y-a books too.


This is a bo
...more
Isamlq
Nov 13, 2010 Isamlq rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me, as I read Leviathan…

Oh, that’s what was going on...
...
Poor kid, all alone… in his big house… with servants…
(I think I don’t like this kid.)
...
And he finally asks the right question.
...
...
“Jaw, meet floor...”

Me, right now: ECSTATIC

Why? Because second chance books are wonderful, aren't they? Especially if they turn out much better than initially assessed. I’m so happy that I gave this another go, but what took me so long in the first place? Shifting into steampunk called for a lot of focus,
...more
✨    jamieson   ✨
IMAGINE it's the mid 1800's, and Charles Darwin presents his groundbreaking research on the origin of species. But alongside that, he also presents a way to harvest "life thread" DNA from animals, and then fuse them with other animals to create new, hybrid species. Thus, the rise of the Darwinist nations -- countries which create these animal hybrids for war. Flying, whale warships, bats which will attack enemy aeroplanes, lizards which speak with human voices to relay messages.

IMAGINE it's 191
...more
Catie
I’ve wanted to get my hands on this book for years – ever since it came out back in 2009. I am a big Scott Westerfeld fan, and the whole setting for this book – a World War I alternate history featuring mechanized monstrosities and organic living airships – just goes right up to my pleasure centers. I’ve heard some mixed things about this book in the past two years, which may have lowered it on my to-read list somewhat but I finally had some motivation to start it this month. I am so glad that I ...more
Bridget
I liked the alternate history aspect as some of the historical references to World War I made this book more interesting for me. Cool concept of the allies/ Darwinists using DNA altered animals on their side of the fight while the Axis powers/Clankers used machines. Worth the $3.50 I paid for it & I'd read the second book 'Behemoth' as this one did end as a cliff hanger of course. I guess most authors these days think why write one book when you can write three or more & make more money? ...more
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Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

His book Evolution's Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation f
...more
More about Scott Westerfeld...

Other Books in the Series

Leviathan (3 books)
  • Behemoth (Leviathan, #2)
  • Goliath (Leviathan, #3)

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“Maybe this was how you stayed sane in wartime: a handful of noble deeds amid the chaos. ” 233 likes
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