David's Reviews > Behemoth

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Jan 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in September, 2011

Westerfeld's writing is deliciously vivid. His prose is filled with thick verbs and concrete metaphors that, along with the illustrations accompanying the work, make reading Leviathan a very visual experience. His characterization is rich enough to create a real sense of drama (though one could say that he perhaps relies a bit too much on tense action scenes to create suspense, which for me, sometimes creates the opposite effect, because one knows that the main characters are never really in danger of death) and one very readily falls into sympathy with both Aleksander and Deryn. Their contrasting personas (a dispossesed young prince and a working class girl turned solider-in-disguise) make the alternating storylines fresh to jump between, while also making their inevitable meeting intruiging and fragrant with possibilities for their future.

While the amount of action and suspense-drama might make the work more appealing to boys, the narrative is so well-written throughout that I think any fan of the young adult genre could take a lot from this work. I also reccomend the audio version, as the reader there (Alan Cumming) gives a zesty and emphatic performance, bringing life to lines that one might have easily passed over in one's silent reading pace.

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