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(Leviathan #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  90,244 ratings  ·  7,237 reviews
It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist,
Paperback, 440 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published October 6th 2009)
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Heidi no it does not have a love story it is really boring

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  90,244 ratings  ·  7,237 reviews

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Like many of my friends, I've been looking forward to getting my hands on "Leviathan" for a while. It is so sad that after such a long wait I can't give this book more than 2 stars. And if I am being honest, I added second star for fabulous cover art and excellent illustrations (1 or 2 per chapter!). My low rating doesn't mean however that I would recommend NOT to read this book. I simply didn't care for it personally, for several reasons.

First, this book seems to be mistakenly classified as you
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Westerfeld’s Uglies, so I was excited to read this new book, set in an alternate reality. It’s the dawn of World War I, and war is about to erupt between two great powers – the Clankers (Germany & Austro-Hungary) and the Darwinists (England, France, Russia). The Clankers are technologists with walking tanks (a la Star Wars), zeppelins and airplanes, while the Darwinists have discovered ways to manipulate DNA and create biological hybrids like floating whale ships, lizards that r ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." Charles Darwin

The world of Leviathan set in 1914 is divided into Darwinists and Clankers. The Darwinists have evolved genetics to make animals more useful to humans. The Clankers have built their society on machinery technology. I love maps and Scott Westerfeld provided a great map to show how his imagined world has been divided up between the two ca
mark monday
this is a zippy, high-spirited breeze of a novel, aimed at the lucrative TROPE(1) audience - and with clear appeal for even younger folks. as far as characterization and narrative go, there is not much here that will suprise or challenge the reader...but the novel does have charm, lots of it. don't expect to get your mind blown, but it is certainly a pleasant way to spend a few hours. and there are many enjoyable elements in the now-almost-played-out use of TROPE(2): big clanky walking-machines, ...more
Alternate title: An Adventure in Which an Aristocratic Young Man Discovers How to Pilot an All-Terrain Walker and that he is Now an Orphan, and a Young Woman Disguises Herself as a Young Man and Joins the Navy to Pilot Flying Octopi and Whales.

I rarely read Young Adult, so it is a mark of Westerfeld’s credit that I didn’t abandon ship immediately. I picked it up as a monthly read, mistakenly assuming the group disqualified the genre from nominations. I know what you are thinking–why didn’t I qui
Dan Schwent
The Archduke of Austria-Hungary and his wife are assassinated and their son, Alek, flees into the night with trusted advisors. Deryn Sharp disguises herself as a boy to gain a post on a Darwinist airship. With a Great War brewing, how will their paths intersect?

I had Leviathan on my kindle for so long I'd largely forgotten when I purchased it. Sometimes, you just want to read about giant steam-powered robots in the dawn of World War I.

Leviathan is a steampunk adventure tale set in the opening mo
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A missing piece can be very bad for the puzzle, whether in the natural world, or politics, or here in the belly of an airship."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
That’s what I want to know, Alek. That’s what I want to know.

High Points.
Deryn. Alek. This world… wooow, why doesn’t it exist yet?! Huxleys. Darwinists. Clankers. Flying wales. Cow farts. Trinkets&Diddies. Messenger lizards. Science. Nature. Snowshoes. Tazza. Dr Barlow. Frostbitten bums. Odd kind of tingling. The prospect of sequels…

Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices, I got a taste for steampunk that I have not been able to satiate until now.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Leviathan is targeted for early YA, in the same vein as Percy Jackson and the early Harry Potters. My advice to you is if you are thinking about reading any of the Rick Riordan/Percy Jackson books; put that thought out of your mind right now, and pick up Leviathan instead. Trust me on this one, you will thank me for i
Ahmad Sharabiani
Leviathan (Leviathan #1), Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, diesel-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksander Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
For any YA-fans looking for a new fun and imaginative adventure to fill the Harry-Potter-sized void in your lives, I give you Leviathan!

Beware the Clanker Revolution!

It's the year 1914, and Austrian prince Alek has just learned that his parents have been murdered. Instead of being allowed time to grieve, he is forced to flee his country with only a handful of men loyal to him. As his birthright represents a direct threat to the Clanker army's quest for power, the fifteen-year-old Alek has been t
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Whew…where do I begin? First off, let me tell you this is my first steampunk experience, which will definitely not be my last. At work, I’ve had a few of my co-workers recommend this book to me, along with about fifteen other steampunk titles. I ignored them. Steampunk just wasn’t my bag. It seemed too…too…what’s the word?...ridiculous. Months passed. But every time I needed a new book to read and review for my job, I always found myself looking at LEVIATHAN. The cover art is pretty cool; but ju ...more
Richard Derus
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Really, just...wow. I love alternate histories, and I dote on steampunk, and I am learning just how fertile the YA vineyards are in both these realms. This book is a wonderful tale of an alternate WWI, fought between the Darwinist powers and the Clankers. That is, those whose fighting technology is genetically manipulated animal based, and those whose fighting technology is...well, technology.

Darwin's theories of evolution became available to manipulate and modify animals at a much earlier
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I really enjoyed this and I'm glad it was the first steam punk book I got to read! I loved all the different vehicles and airships throughout the book. I just had a few problems with one of the main characters, as she was super annoying, and I also thought the ending was a BUZZKILL. Other than that the story was great and I'm excited to continue on with this trilogy. ...more
I did in the end enjoy this novel, but I had a few reservations. I loved the illustrations. I wish they were all pushed a page later so they wouldn't spoil what was currently happening every time I turned the page, but that was alright. I think at times, I found it easy to put down, but once I committed, I was totally in. The characters were pretty realistic with their characterizations and were kept super consistent. I loved the afterward where he explained his ideas for this alternate history/ ...more
I felt that this series was best reviewed as one coherent narrative given the relatively short period of time the books cover, the continuous story that was told, and the similarities between them.

The Leviathan series is a fun mix of steampunk, adventure, and historical/alternative history that, for the most part, delivered a satisfying and enjoyable reading experience (even if the end of the series does sink a bit too deeply into some annoying YA qualities). I was able to devour these books at
The style came easily to me even if it is my first historical sci-fi book. I usually avoid sci-fi for the reason that they usually have long series. I read somewhere that there is a sequel to Leviathan but I forgot. I probably would've read the book anyway though because Deryn is a girl disguised as a boy and that in and of itself would hook me to almost any book.

Absolutely loved the whole Darwinist v. Clanker bit. The fact that Westerfeld really made it fit so easily without making everything
This combination fantasy and alternative history of World War 1 was fun and imaginative in many ways, but it came up short for me in its limited depth of characters and plotting and in my troubles suspending disbelief. Only some of such weakness seems attributable to this being children’s literature.

The overall premise is that the Allied powers use genetically engineered animals in their military technology while the Central powers use machines—the "Darwinists" versus the "Clankers". The former
What a pleasant surprise this book was! I strongly dislike the Uglies series and had a sense that Leviathan would be a "boy book" (whatever that means), but it turns out it was highly enjoyable.

Basically, a heavily altered retelling of the initiation of World War I. It follows two protagonists: Alek, the orphaned son of the murdered Austrian archduke, and Deryn, a girl disguising herself as a boy in order to fly on a Darwinist airbeast. She will be flying against the Clankers, the sections o
Scott  Hitchcock

This book read like a newsreel being delivered by a stiff network anchor. I never felt engaged by the story or the characters. Everything moves at a super slow pace an is overly simplistic.

The book is a steampunk and historical fictional piece about the son of assassinated WW1 icon Franz Ferdinand. The story takes place in the events leading up to and then in the war. The fictitiously named son spends his time on the run in a dirigible learning secrets long kept from him.

I will not be
I love the setting but characters and story are bit too naively written. Since this is YA book aimed at lower age parts of YA spectrum but I feel that what this book does, it does worse than Mortal Engines which has significantly better characters and character interactions. Overall fun read but too much unused potential for such awesome setting. ...more
Brooke W
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, this book was a DNF. I was not a good enough reader yet, and I had no respect for steampunk. How wrong I was. I flew(ha) through this, happy and in anticipation the whole time. By the time I picked it back up again, a few months later, I had been introduced to Uglies and Impostors...
I love love love alternate history, and Westerfeld turned World War 1 into a fight between mechanics and animal lovers(poor explanation alert). Everything was so well explained that I could envision every m
Just look at this cover, isn't it GORGEOUS?! I absolutely love it. It's so rich, with such sumptuous detail, wonderful design and use of colour and all the elements of the story and its genres. It's simply RIPPING!! It feels nice too, with embossed bits, shiny bits, matte bits, texture in places so that if you run your fingers over it they get all excited and tingly! The one and only thing that bothers me is the cardstock used - the cover never lies flat but is constantly (even brand new and sit ...more
Leviathan was so freaking good. Amazing even. The amount of world building and scientific shit were highly entertaining to listen to. However, I will admit that I still had moments of confusion and awe as well.

This book follows Prince Aleksander, who used to be a would-be heir but is now running for his life, and Deryn Sharp, who is a commoner disguised as a boy. These two were likable together and apart. Even though I liked both characters, things that were happening with or around Alek were a
Mel (Epic Reading)
Scott Westerfeld's trilogy Leviathan has been on my print shelf to read for 6+ years. Perhaps it's because it was there so long collecting dust, or because I had too high of expectations. Or may it truly isn't all that great of a book. Whatever the reason I just could not get into it at all. I kept picking up every other book I was reading and avoiding it like the plague.

Middle Grade or Teen?
This trilogy is usually categorized in teen but I think it really belongs in Middle Grade fiction. There
Leviathan is the first book in a young adult steampunk trilogy. Although it does have a young feel to it, and the story is straight-forward and a bit predictable, it was actually a vey fun, light read. I haven’t read a lot of steampunk, so I hadn’t read anything quite like this story, and I think that helped keep me interested.

The story is set right at the beginning of World War I on an alternate version of our Earth where technology has developed a bit differently. DNA was discovered earlier, l
I don't know what happened here. How a book about an alternate history steampunk WWI where one side has clankers, and the other genetically engineered flying beasts that double as airships could be so exceptionally uninteresting and generic, I really don't know. Also one of the MC's is the son of the murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand. And the other is a girl who dresses as a boy! Also, also it was narrated by Alan Cumming! And yet, my mind wandered constantly while listening, and I had to force ...more
My first impression of this book is that it is beautifully done. The map on the inside covers are amazing with the details and colors. Plus the illustrations throughout the book are fantastic. Full page sketches of a scene that are highly detailed and stunning. The text itself though is not written for teens but for young pre-teens, and the characters are said to be 15-16 but appear 12 or so in the illustrations. It just all sounds and feels so juvenile. They also think, sound, and act juvenile. ...more
Megan Baxter
This is a very solid young adult book, with not too much romance shoehorned in. (That is to say, there is some romance, and it feels very shoehorny, but is on the brief side. This book in particular feels like it could have skipped the burgeoning of the feelings without in anyway detracting from the book.) I am waffling on the three or four stars right now - because I liked it enough to be interested in further books in the series without in any way falling in love with it.

Note: The rest of this
Jul 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars for Leviathan: Leviathan Series, Book 1 (audiobook) by Scott Westerfeld read by Alan Cumming.
This was a interesting and unique world. It’s something like steam punk but different. It has some great characters in a real adventure. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
I've tried the audiobook for this twice now and I just can't get into it. This time I was several chapters in and almost 2 hours in and I still was zoning out.

I'll probably try again with a physical copy soon, but for right now it's a DNF
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Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He is best known for the Uglies and Leviathan series. His current series, IMPOSTORS, returns to the world of Uglies.

The next book in that series, MIRROR'S EDGE, comes out April 6, 2021.

Other books in the series

Leviathan (3 books)
  • Behemoth (Leviathan, #2)
  • Goliath (Leviathan, #3)

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