Abigail's Reviews > Behemoth

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Jan 27, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2010, steampunk, favorites
Recommended to Abigail by: Robyn recomended Leviathan to me and got me started on this series
Recommended for: Anyone who read Leviathan or enjoyes steampunk or alternate histories
Read from October 05 to 06, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Well I quite enjoyed reading "Behemoth." So much so that I managed to finish it a little over 12 hours since I started reading it (and it only took that long as I was interrupted by work and a much needed nap.) It also should be noted that I finished it at 12:25am so because of that I had to put Oct 6th.

"Behemoth" lived up to everything "Leviathan" had promised. I felt that the first book had a bit more suspense, but then again it was the beginning of the series, Alek was running for his life, we didn't know if Deryn would be discovered and all that jazz.

Also, Westerfeld manages to accomplish something that few steampunk authors seem to grasp. He allows his world and the technology in it to unfold naturally. His characters don't wander around thinking "OMG! A TALKING LIZARD!" (Well the Clankers do... but you get the idea) Many steampunk stories out there seem to me like old Science Fiction stories where the story only exists to show off the technology or the really cool world or the mad scientist. Lengthy descriptions that seem out of place happen in those stories and it's exposition abound. However, Westerfeld has mastered the everyday detail in such that he only has these objects mentioned in passing and certain things, like talking messenger lizards get no more, notice then a person in our world seeing a cell phone on a table. The point is these are items the characters in his world deal with every day and they get dismissed easily and in tern I think that's what really helps Westerfeld build his realistic world. Immersing the reader with details makes it come alive in a way clunky exposition doesn't.

Also, he doesn't allow this fantastic science to overpower the story so that the characters or even the plot suffer. "Leviathan" and "Behemoth" both seem to be about character and plot first and the science and technology just happen to be in the world around them.

With all that said, there was one thing did bother me in "Behemoth." Alek seemed a bit too eager to trust people with his secret (something he's admonished for early on in the book actually) and I find it oddly convenient that everyone he's seem to have told in has managed to pan out. (Although I'm not personally ruling out the possibility that someone could turn on him at a later date as there is still one more book left in the trilogy.) Also, I'm a bit disturbed that a few people have managed to piece together Deryn's secret but Alek is still left completely in the dark. However, for the moment, I'm okay with that.

All in all I really enjoyed it and I LOVE Bovril! I can't wait to see what other secrets the Boffin has about what he really is and what it could mean for Alek and Deryn.

And on a final note, I quite enjoyed Lilit's parting with Deryl. Makes me wonder if she's more curious about Deryl or herself....

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