Kayt's Reviews > Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Apr 18, 2010

it was amazing
Read from August 24 to 26, 2010

In a word: awesome. I was unsure about this at first, since I'm not generally a fan of WWI-era stories, male leads, and I considered Scott Westerfeld to be a good, solid author, but not one of my favorites. However, I may have to revise my opinion.

Set is an alternate universe where WWI essentially turns into the "Clankers" vs. "Darwinists." Clankers rely on steampunk-style machines--planes, walking tanks, etc, while Darwinists have managed to manipulate DNA and combine creatures for maximum potential, such as a giant flying whale-ship that produces hydrogen to stay up via its food.

Caught in the middle are Alek, son of Franz Ferdinand of Austria and on the run from those wishing war, and Deryn a.k.a. Dylan, a girl masquerading as a boy in order to enter the Darwinists' air force.

One of the best things about the book, though, are the gorgeously detailed illustrations. Without them, it would be exceedingly hard to visualize the clanks and especially the Darwinists' animals. No matter how Westerfeld describes them, it never quite "clicked" for me until I saw a picture.

Do be warned that this is obviously the first in a series (actually, a trilogy). While it's not an abrupt ending, there are few answers in the big scheme of things, and you'll have to find the next book to get them.

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