I don't know why I would think that Westerfeld's books are ever going to be anything but amazing. I mean, not that I was harboring doubts. After all, Leviathan was pretty spectacular, so it would stand to reason that Behemoth would be the same.
The politics that Westerfeld pays attention to in this book just astounds me. There was a lot going on in World War One. There were a lot of reasons (dumb and not so dumb) why people got dragged into that war. And to take those politics and shape them into your novel takes a certain sort of finesse that Westerfeld just HAS. It must have taken so much research about Ferdinand and his family to get a real feel for the time period and everything that was going on. Then, to take that and mold it into your steampunk world just fascinates me. Which is saying a lot because usually the politics of things bores me but Westerfeld handles it masterfully.
I also loved watching the relationship between Deryn and Alek. I like that they get to be friends, even though it's starting to turn into love with Deryn. I like how much they trust each other, even though you know it's going to spell disaster when Alek finds out and I like that it really is a friendship before it's a relationship. Westerfeld has done a very good job with that.
I also like all of the things that Westerfeld has come up with in this book. I mean the machines and the beasts and all of the different things that he created for this world just become more impressive by the minute. We didn't see as much of it in Leviathan because most of the book was spent on the ship but in Behemoth they go to Istanbul and we get to see a vast array of both creatures and machinery alike. It's really amazing the things he's thought up for this book.
This is turning into my favorite series by Westerfeld and I can't wait to get my hands on the final book (which just came out!) If you're looking for a good Steampunk novel, I definitely recommend these.