Mandy's Reviews > Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Aug 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: reading-challenges
Read in August, 2011

While this is technically YA, I think it may be a bit younger than that. The illustrations are gorgeous, but only further solidify the more childish feel of the book.

The setting is the very beginning of WWI. The story follows Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s son, Alek, and Deryn, a girl pretending to be a boy so that she can be a midshipman in the British Air Services. Westerfeld creates the most imaginative “machinery.” On one side, there are the Clankers, who have big metal steam-powered machines and weaponry. On the other side, there are the Darwinists, who have played with DNA and created beasts that can do all manner of things. That means flying whale ships, communicator lizards, and bats that poop iron ammunition onto the enemy.

The story is fast paced and full of battle scenes. Seriously. It’s something like 90% action sequences and 10% description of the machinery. But, what would you expect from a book about war? Westerfeld’s fifteen-year-old protagonists do act/think younger than they should. But, being that they’ve both just entered a war, perhaps they will age quickly in the following books. Westerfeld’s best character is Deryn. She is awesome! She’s smart, quick to think and act, and unbelievably courageous. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.
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