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January Discussions > Leviathan

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message 1: by Geoffrey, The One, The Only (new)

Geoffrey (Geoffreys) | 812 comments Mod
I finished this book yesterday and I have mixed thoughts about it. It's definitely YA and at the beginning felt a bit younger than I would usually read, but it was entertaining just the same.

So what are you thoughts on the book?

What I did love, however, were the two different technological paths being taken in Europe. The Darwinists in the British Empire with their biologically based technology was brilliant. It was obvious their knowledge of genetics is far superior to our own. I would have liked a little more background on it's historical development but not having it didn't detract from the overall story.

Designing the Leviathan as a interdependent ecology was brilliant. I think it would have been so much less interesting if it was just a flying whale with people riding on it.


Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) | 106 comments I particularly admired the breakneck pacing. You notice how pared-down everything is? Each chapter skips over the intervening dull stuff and zooms right up to a highlight or exciting set piece.


Greg (Geemont) | 397 comments Since there heavy battle in voting for this novel with such passion, so I decided to read the sample--hopefully with an open mind. Nothing about the short sample made me want to go on.

The details were skimpy and the pacing too fast. In good science fiction, IMHO, it should have taken 50 pages of world and character building to bring the Prince to the kidnapping and "you're parents are dead" dénouement, not 10 minutes of reading. It made me think of a Reader's Digest condensed book. Yeah, I know, it a young adult novel, and that's the way they go sometimes. I'm going to pass on this one.


♥Meagan♥ (fadedrainbows) | 9 comments Leviathan isn't a true sci-fi book. The focus is on the war, not the prince. I also think that because it is alter.ate history, the author expects you to know a little about the prince already, I think.


Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) | 106 comments More importantly, it -is- a YA. There's no younger reader who would sit for 50 pages of world and character building.


♥Meagan♥ (fadedrainbows) | 9 comments Brenda wrote: "More importantly, it -is- a YA. There's no younger reader who would sit for 50 pages of world and character building."

Yes, this, too!


Tracy (Foralykai) | 13 comments I was going to pass on this, but you all have convinced me to read it. Something fast paced and paired-down is just what I'm in the mood for at the momement.


Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) | 106 comments We are in luck because all three volumes are now out. Has anyone here yet read all 3?


Wilco Roos (RoosW) | 14 comments I am flying through part 2 atm ;-) got a deal on all 3 as a bundle. after (re)reading the first 2 parts of the 'Revelation Space' series, this is just what the doctor ordered, fast action, great ideas and wildly weird creatures and things. Don't get me wrong, character building and laying out the plot a lot better has its place, just not in this kind of stories :-)


Eric (Basilius) | 82 comments I read all three in late 2011. The story expands in scope (a bit, though you never are forced to deal with more at any given moment than in the first book) but the pace never really slackens. If you like the first one, you'll enjoy the whole trilogy. If you don't, well, don't continue because the next two books deliver more of the same.

I did have a few quibbles with how a couple of the characters behaved in Goliath compared to the prior two books (a couple things seemed odd and out of character), but it's mostly nit-picking.

I think it came to a satisfying end, as well.


Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) | 106 comments I found the final ending dissatisfying. But the way it is now, it has considerable space for yet another book or three. So I am forced to believe that this was deliberate. And indeed the world and setup is too cool to just let go. There's gold in them thar hills...


Donna (DonnaHR) | 324 comments Mod
I just finished Leviathan and liked it. The Darwinist and Clanker technologies were interesting, and I laughed at the phrase "monkey luddites". I liked the fast pacing of the story and I loved the illustrations but I was annoyed by the cliff hanger ending. I would like to read the other books but not quite enough to pay $9.99. If there was a special on them though I'd be happy to read the next two.


Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) | 106 comments They are very popular YAs, so you might check at your local library.


JSWolf | 85 comments I did read Leviathan and I have to say, it was a good read but, it was also a bit light. It did feel YA for sure. I'm probably going to read the rest of the series just to find out what happens.


Julie Collins | 1 comments I thought they were fun to read. Had to read all three. Din't read then on my nook. Got them from the library.


JSWolf | 85 comments Julie wrote: "I thought they were fun to read. Had to read all three. Din't read then on my nook. Got them from the library."

Half the fun was reading on my 650 knowing I didn't have to read the pBook copy.


Wes | 4 comments A YA book with a big "To Be Continued" lampshaded upon it. That being said, the differences between the Clankers (classic) post-Victorian steampunk and the Darwinist's genetic engineering was the highlight of the book for me.

I also wonder if the complaints about worldbuilding are based upon our ages and those of the intended audience; this is an alt-WWI book for kids. We, as adults, have a better general, if not particular, knowledge base on the roots Westerfeld is growing from. (Not to say YA is beneath me - I'm going to read the rest of the series.)


message 18: by Geoffrey, The One, The Only (new)

Geoffrey (Geoffreys) | 812 comments Mod
Now that you've mentioned WWI, I do think it's refreshing to to see some post-Victorian era steampunk ...


Forward | 3 comments I read all three books. I have to agree it was a little light and fast paced, wich made for a simple and pleasurable read. I loved the darwinist/clanker technology and wished there were more in depth stories for this world. It felt like a great idea that was never fully explored.


Sky Corbelli | 13 comments These are some of the only books in recent years that I've actually purchased in hardback. The artwork was very nice, and the fact that I have yet to dislike anything by Mr. Westerfeld certainly helped matters.

I think that the thing to remember is that this is not a science fiction story; it is a story that happens to feature science fiction. I could easily see it playing out in much the same way without the aid of the fantastical elements. Those are the draw, but never the focus.

All in all, these books were light and fun, clever ideas to season a little gender bender romance and high octane adventure. I would recommend all three.


Vrabinec | 10 comments Brenda wrote: "More importantly, it -is- a YA. There's no younger reader who would sit for 50 pages of world and character building."

Yeah, there's a bit of world building and characterization built into the dialogue and pictures on the wall, etc.., but it's definitely written more to keep the pace quick. I probably would have enjoyed it more as a teen.


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